So you're already a certified EMT-Basic or higher and have accepted employment with our department, now what? All newly hired Cadets begin their career with Austin-Travis County EMS with a 10 week training Academy. The Academy is a state of the art facility located in southeast Austin, which houses multiple classrooms, a gymnasium and a driving track. This facility that trains all public safety cadets of the Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, and ATCEMS.  It is a very busy campus with lots of public safety activity.  EMS cadets will train at this location, Monday – Friday from 6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (times and days may vary depending on scheduled activities) but will not live on site.

Cadet-Field Training

During the Cadet-Field Academy you can expect to be challenged mentally and physically while learning to function in our fast paced progressive system.  The Academy is 10 weeks with three major components: physical training, academics and skills, and they are all equally important.

Cadets during skills training

Cadet-Communications Training

The Cadet-Communications will attend an 10 week academy. Communications cadets are prepared to work in our state of the art Combined Transportation & Emergency Communications Center (CTECC). Cadets are trained to use our latest dispatching technology like our Computer Aided Dispatch system, auto vehicle locating system, Solacom 9-1-1 phone system, and more.

Communications medics at console

Academic/Skills Training

Cadet-Field & Cadet-Communications

Cadet-Field will attend a 10 week Academy at the City of Austin Safety Training Campus. The first 3 weeks of the Academy, Cadet-Field will be required to complete an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) leveling class, taught by experienced ATCEMS instructors. This class is designed to ensure that Cadets have a good EMT foundation to build on for the remainder of the Academy. Upon completion of the 3 week leveling class, all Cadets must pass an EMT Knowledge Exam with an 80% or higher to continue in the Academy. 

The remaining 7 weeks of the Academy is filled with educational and practical experiences to help Cadets become successful Medics with ATCEMS. Medical knowledge will be challenged daily to encourage more competent and confident providers.  Assessment skills will be honed in our scenario testing lab and through continuous evolutions of scenarios.

Cadet-Communications will attend an 10 week Academy at the City of Austin Public Safety Training Campus. Cadet-Communications experience a varied  curriculum that develops understanding of the Austin and Travis County areas, our local Computer Aided Dispatch system, Medical Priority Dispatch System protocols, Rescue and Special Call triages, SolaComm 911 system, and Aero-Medical responses. In addition to extensive job-specific training, Cadet-Communications have the option of participating in Academy physical training and experiencing specialized familiarization of the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Lake Travis, water-safety, and swift water awareness training.  Successful completion of the Cadet Academy will prepare Cadet-Communications to work in the state of the art Combined Transportation and Emergency Communications Center (CTECC) as a Medic-Communications. 

Zoll monitor

Physical Training

Physical training (PT) in the Academy is challenging for any fitness level. Cadets should expect PT every day (optional for Cadet-Communications). The purpose of PT is to improve health and fitness, strengthen personal accountability, and encourage team building. We aim to inspire cadets to continue physical fitness throughout their career here at Austin-Travis County EMS. 

At the beginning of each day, you will work on your health and well being in our functional fitness program.  We have a state of the art gym and exercise physiologist instructors that will prepare you for the rigors of working in the emergency medical environment.

PT consists of a balance of aerobic conditioning as well as weight training. In the first week of the academy a VO2 aerobic fitness assessment is performed on each cadet. Results are recorded, and the assessment is repeated at the end of the academy to evaluate improvement. Many cadets show a significant increase in their aerobic capacity, and overall fitness. 

Each week, PT will consist of intense aerobic exercise, which includes long distance runs, sprint runs, interval runs, and tower stair climbing. Weight training is integrated with aerobics for 3 of the 5 training days. Weight training is comprised of weight bearing dynamic squats, core strength exercises, and muscular endurance routines. Calisthenic exercises are also a large part of the everyday PT routine including plank variations. Dynamic lifting focuses on physical conditioning and building functional muscle groups that are essential in EMS.


Cadets during PT instruction

Ride with a Medic

The EMS Rider/Observer Program provides an opportunity for eligible citizens and prospective applicants to experience how components of the EMS department operates, and how medical care is managed in the system.

*Please note: In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rider/Observer Program is temporarily suspended. We will begin taking rider applications again once we have resumed normal operations. If you have any questions, please fill out a contact form

Eligible citizens and prospective applicants may request to participate in the Rider/Observer program for Field or Communications.  Any citizen or applicant wishing to participate in the program must first complete a Rider/Observer Application. All applications will undergo a review/eligibility process which may include a criminal background search conducted by ATCEMS. You will be contacted by an EMS representative informing you that you are eligible or have been denied. If you are approved, you will be given instruction for the next steps to schedule your Rider/Observer appointment date and time.


Medics in headphones