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It has been nearly four decades since President Lyndon Johnson's Committee on Highway Traffic Safety recommended the creation of a national certification agency to establish uniform standards for training and examination of personnel active in the delivery of emergency ambulance service. The result of this recommendation was the inception of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) in 1970.

Since that time, out-of-hospital emergency medical care has continually evolved and improved. The EMT has been acknowledged as a bonafide member of the health care team. Excellent training programs have been developed and a vital focus has been placed on continuing education. National standards have been established. Ambulance equipment essentials have been set. National accreditation of paramedic programs has been achieved, and professional associations for the EMT have been organized.

Through every change, the NREMT has remained steadfast in upholding its mission to provide a valid, uniform process to assess the knowledge and skills required for competent practice required by professionals throughout their careers and by maintaining a registry of certification status. Consistent competency standards set by the EMS community mean patients can expect the same quality of care from competent EMS providers. Regardless of whether EMS providers are volunteers or career-based, or located in urban or rural settings, NREMT certification provides a national definition of the level of EMT competency—a standard for comparison.

The NREMT has done what was necessary to establish, implement and maintain uniform requirements for the certification and recertification of emergency medical technicians. The NREMT has also been involved in numerous national projects and its staff participates on major national committees, playing an active part in the ever-continuing process of improving standards of emergency medical services.

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