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Health Science | NREMT

3 Best Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) Curriculum Options

June 14th, 2022 | 8 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for AES, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students through listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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As a health science curriculum developer, we often hear from teachers looking for Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) curriculum for their classes. With many students choosing careers in Emergency Medical Services (EMS), your EMR curriculum must keep pace with this demand and your changing needs.

For your students to be successful, you need an up-to-date curriculum that satisfies EMR certification requirements.

In this article, you’ll discover three of the best resources to use in your EMR curriculum:

  1. Emergency Medical Responder Curriculum from the American Red Cross
  2. Emergency Medical Responder: First on the Scene
  3. Emergency Medical Responder Courses from eDynamic Learning

When you’ve finished reading, you should better understand the emergency medical responder curriculum options available to you to select what’s best for your students.

1. Emergency Medical Responder Curriculum from the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is one of the oldest and best-known organizations when it comes to emergency medical services and relief efforts. While the Red Cross is best known for its large-scale responses to disasters and crises, they also provide two curriculum resources for students studying to be emergency medical responders.

Emergency Medical Response Textbook | Red Cross Store

Emergency Medical Responder Textbook from the American Red Cross

The first resource offered by the American Red Cross is a traditional textbook designed for students pursuing EMR certifications.

This EMR textbook provides an overview of the essential subjects students need to know to be effective emergency response team members. It covers the 2015 American Heart Association (AHA) updates to CPR, ECC, and First Aid care and includes Critical Facts sections that highlight the most important concepts students need to know.

The American Red Cross text features 32 chapters spread across eight units:

  1. Preparatory
  2. Assessment
  3. Airway
  4. Circulation
  5. Medical Emergencies
  6. Trauma Emergencies
  7. Special Populations
  8. EMS Operations

How Much Does This EMR Textbook Cost and Who Is it For?

The textbook is priced at $100 and was last updated in December 2017. While it comes directly from a respected emergency medical response organization, it isn’t as up to date as other resources, including the Red Cross’ own EMR online class.

Emergency Medical Response Class from the American Red Cross

Emergency Medical Response Textbook | Red Cross Store

In addition to publishing an EMR textbook, the American Red Cross also offers its own  professional training program for students pursuing EMR certification.

The Red Cross Emergency Medical Response class is a 56-hour course designed to provide students with training comparable to that of current EMS professionals. The core of the class is the Red Cross EMR textbook, with eight units of material to teach learners the fundamentals of care.

The EMR Class also includes free digital instructor materials and a syllabus conversion guide designed to help educators update their current instructional materials.

With the inclusion of the syllabus conversion guide, teachers get access to a more updated version of the Red Cross curriculum.

How Much Does This Class Cost and Who Is it For?

You’ll need to contact the American Red Cross to obtain an inclusive price when buying this curriculum for your entire class or program.

Overall, the EMR class provides a clear path for EMR preparation for most students. However, it’s still based on a textbook that’s less up to date than other options.

2. Emergency Medical Responder: First on the Scene


Published by Pearson Education, Emergency Medical Responder: First on the Scene is a leading textbook for students in EMR programs. Authored by Chris Le Baudour and J. David Bergeron, this popular volume is now in its eleventh edition issued in 2019.

Emergency Medical Responder: First on the Scene is a broad, overarching text intended to benefit practically anyone working as a first responder. This includes firefighters, law enforcement officers, military and civil response teams, and paramedics and emergency medical responders.

This book includes 27 chapters on important EMR topics that provide a complete picture of emergency response. Some of these chapters include:

  • Legal and Ethical Principles of Emergency Care
  • Introduction to Pathophysiology
  • Principles of Effective Communication and Documentation
  • Principles of Resuscitation
  • Recognition and Care of Shock
  • Care During Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Introduction to EMS Operations and Hazardous Response
  • Introduction to Multiple-Casualty Incidents, the Incident Command System, and Triage

As a comprehensive text, students using the Emergency Medical Responder textbook will be ready for the most common scenarios they’ll face in the field. They’ll also learn how to work with others to provide the best possible care even in the direst circumstances.

Students can benefit from included step-by-step skill demonstrations and digital skills videos. The text has also been updated to reflect the 2017 Focused Updates from the American Heart Association Guidelines for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and First Aid.

How Much Does This EMR Textbook Cost and Who Is it For?

Emergency Medical Responder: First on the Scene is available for purchase or rent directly from Pearson. You can expect to pay $140 per copy for a physical version of the book.

Overall, the 11th edition of Emergency Medical Responder is the latest version of one of the most popular EMR curriculum resources. Educators who prefer a traditional text-based resource will find this text to be a reliable option for their courses.

3. Emergency Medical Responder Courses from eDynamic LearningeDynamic Learning Acquires Knowledge Matters, the Leading Provider of  Career Simulations

eDynamic Learning is a popular provider of digital curriculum courses for students in middle and high school, including Career and Technical Education programs.

For Emergency Medical Responder, eDynamic offers two pre-packaged, standards-aligned courses designed for students to take in succession over one academic year.

These courses are specifically directed toward students preparing for EMR careers and serve as standalone courses. This means that while students who take these courses will be qualified for EMR certifications, they’ll need to rely on other classes or a comprehensive curriculum to learn other health science principles.

The two courses available to students are Emergency Medical Responder 1a: Introduction and Emergency Medical Responder 1b: Prepared for Action.

Emergency Medical Responder 1a: Introduction

Emergency Medical Responder 1a: Introduction - eDynamic Learning

As the first semester of a two-course sequence, this class focuses on the basic assessments and on-the-scene treatments students need to know to be a part of an emergency response team. 

This semester, students progress through eight units of content:

  1. Emergency Medical Systems
  2. Primary Assessment
  3. Secondary Assessment
  4. Airway Management
  5. Cardiac and Respiratory Emergencies
  6. Medical Emergencies
  7. Trauma Management
  8. Other Medical Emergencies

The goal here is to introduce students to the primary elements of EMR before discussing more specific and advanced situations during the second course.

Emergency Medical Responder 1b: Prepared for Action

Emergency Medical Responder 1b: Prepared for Action - eDynamic Learning

The second semester of the eDynamic EMR curriculum covers more advanced skills and complex medical emergencies students might face. This includes conversations about handling special situations and treating specific populations.

During this course, students cover eight additional units:

  1. Pediatric Patients
  2. Pregnancy and Childbirth
  3. Special Populations
  4. Mental Health and Crisis Intervention
  5. Advanced Trauma Management
  6. Mass Casualty Incident
  7. Moving and Transporting Patients
  8. Special Situations

How Much Does This EMR Curriculum Cost and Who Is it For?

Students need to complete both courses in the sequence to get a complete picture of EMR care. You’ll need to contact the eDynamic Learning sales department directly, however, to find out how much these courses will cost your school.

On the whole, eDynamic Learning’s EMR courses provide an up-to-date digital solution for students studying this specific subject. It’s a good choice for teachers and students who only need an emergency medical response curriculum. On the other hand, educators looking to cover EMR as part of a comprehensive health science curriculum will want to look for a more inclusive offering.

Prepare Students for EMR Certification with a Comprehensive Health Science Curriculum

Any of the curriculum options in this article will help ensure your students are ready for their EMR certification.

But you don’t want to go with just any curriculum. You want lessons that directly align with the EMR certification and will also cover the health science fundamentals they’ll need in any medical field.

AES is a comprehensive health science curriculum developed according to the National EMS Standards and directly aligned to the NREMT EMR Certification.

With AES, you can provide your students with the specific curriculum they need to prepare for the most common EMR certification. They’ll also be more prepared if they go on to take the more advanced Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification!

For more information about how AES aligns with the NREMT EMR Certification, read the complete alignment. You’ll have the information you need to determine if AES is suitable for your program:Download the NREMT EMR Exam Guide >