Rural EMT

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has awarded a grant program to Sanford Health EMS Education,  to recruit and train emergency medical services (EMS) personnel across rural areas of Minnesota and North Dakota. SAMHSA recognizes the great need for emergency services in rural areas and the critical role EMS personnel serve across the country. As one of only 27 grant recipients across the USA, Sanford Health EMS Education is using the funds to provide a variety of educational programs to strengthen rural EMS agencies and providers. This program grant provides scholarships that cover the tuition and fees to earn an EMT certification for people in the rural areas of Sanford’s footprint.  Sanford Health EMS Education has now won the 2nd year of this grant award.


How do I apply?

Applications now open! Remember to apply (or encourage your friends/family/neighbors to apply) by November 30, 2023.

Click here: link to application

      Students will be required to have a background check and specific vaccinations for program participation. These are listed in: Verified Credentials Form. Applicants or awardees who are unable to provide proof of immunizations may be required to get a titer to prove immunity when appropriate. Instructions to comply with these requirements will be detailed before the start of class.

Scholarship award notifications should begin the week of December 8th, 2023

How much does this course cost?

The grant provides EMT educational scholarships to residents that want to work and/or volunteer for rural services in Sanford’s footprint. The scholarship covers the costs of tuition, and fees. All incidental costs (books, vaccines, travel, uniforms, internet access, etc.) are borne by the student.


What areas are covered by this grant?

The grant funds training across rural areas with a Sanford presence. This includes most of North Dakota and western Minnesota. Essentially, anyone within driving distance of one of the remote lab sites listed below is eligible to apply for a scholarship. Students do have to live in an areas considered rural. See this tool to determine if you qualify: HRSA Rural Health Eligibility


How will this course be held?

The next class will start on January 09, 2024. Lecture will be held every Tuesday evening from 6-10pm via live web conference. Required hands-on labs will held on Thursday evenings (also 6-10pm) in Minnesota at Luverne, Thief River Falls, Bagley, and/or Bemidji and in North Dakota at Fargo, Bismarck, or Dickinson.  The North Dakota sites in Fargo and Bismarck accommodate rural students who are within driving distance for lab, but students who already live in these cities specifically do not qualify. Scholarship candidates from surrounding areas are encouraged to apply.

 If you have any questions, email


More about the EMT Course:

Emergency medicine is a very exciting field of study.  Emergency medical services (EMS) represents the combined efforts of several professionals and agencies to provide pre-hospital care to the sick and injured. An EMT is a member of the EMS system who is trained to provide this service. This class is a combination of lecture and practical (hands-on) skills. Access to a laptop computer and basic internet knowledge is highly recommended for this course. This is a semi-blended course - exams and course information is available online. This is a challenging, college level course designed to graduate EMTs competent to run calls from their first day.

For more information on what EMS is and how EMTs tie into EMS, please see 

To see an example in the day in the life of a paramedic, click here: Career