Career Programs



The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system, of which paramedics are a part, is a complex health care system made up of personnel, equipment, and resources established to deliver aid and emergency medical care to the community. It comprises of both pre-hospital and in-hospital care.

The roles and responsibilities of the paramedic in this system have changed dramatically in the past 10 years. Advanced Paramedic is an enormous responsibility for which the paramedic must be mentally, physically and emotionally prepared.

Students must realize that they will be responsible for providing not only competent Paramedic but also emotional support to patients and families. Students also need to realize that during their careers as paramedics they will be exposed to many kinds of physical and emotional stress. They will face situations involving infectious diseases, fear, physical danger, death and dying.

They must thus become familiar with the use of equipment and strategies that will help them remain physically and emotionally safe and healthy. By understanding safe practices, they will be better able to avoid harm from violent people, roadway hazards and infectious diseases.

They will also be able to make appropriate choices about how they live rather than having a physical or emotional injury make that decision for them. They will also learn how they can take action to prevent illness and injury, not only in their own lives but in those of their co-workers and the patients they encounter.

The program provides an integrated vision of pre-hospital care. Students will learn patient assessment, transportation techniques, medical emergencies, pharmacology, pre-hospital trauma life support, advanced cardiac life support, emergency vehicle operations (a probationary driver’s license is required on admission), and crisis intervention, among others.

There is a significant fieldwork/stage component in hospital and in ambulances which requires students to be fluently bilingual in both English and French.

As required, the patient is transported to the appropriate receiving centre. The care given by the paramedic may include:

  • providing CPR (including intubation, defibrillation and administering oxygen);
  • administering medications;
  • stabilizing and improving the person’s condition;
  • transferring patient care and information relative to the situation and condition.

John Abbott College is the only CEGEP in Québec to offer the Paramedic program in English. Completion of this DEC allows the student to challenge the Québec provincial certification exam, the Programme nationale d’intégration Clinique (PNIC).

The graduating student is required to pass the PNIC in order to be hired by an ambulance service in the province of Québec.

Once in possession of their licence, graduates have the opportunity to work in any Canadian province.

Why choose our program?

  • Paramedics respond to diverse emergency situations, in varied environments and, occasionally, in collaboration with other emergency respondents.
  • Paramedics intervene with people of all ages and conditions who call for Paramedic. Their interventions consist of providing primary care of a medical, traumatic, or behavioural nature (often in combination). They are also qualified to respond to other situations such as disaster relief, fires, floods or incidents involving antisocial behaviour.
  • Within their scope of practice, paramedics evaluate the clinical condition of the patient and determine and apply actions required to relieve signs and symptoms and prevent the deterioration of the patient’s condition.

This program is for you if you possess these qualities…

  • leadership
  • communication skills
  • team spirit
  • initiative
  • organization skills
  • critical thinking
  • stress management
  • analytical mind
  • adaptability
  • intellectual rigor
  • bilingualism
  • physical fitness

Where Paramedic can take you!

Career opportunities include: Emergency Medical Services, centres for First Aid training, the Canadian Armed Forces, fire and rescue departments, emergency communication, international organization such as the Red Cross, industrial settings and medical supply sales.

There is a university training program in Advanced Care Paramedics now available in Québec to allow an increased level of care in the field. In order to become an Advanced Care Paramedic, the candidate will have to have completed a DEC in Paramedic or Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (Soins préhospitaliers d’urgence).

In addition to a DEC, 2 years of experience (3,600 clinical hours) are also required by the university. Please note that the university program is offered in French only.

Admission Requirements

CEGEP Requirements

A Secondary School Diploma which includes:
  • Secondary 5 Language of Instruction
  • Secondary 5 Second Language
  • Secondary 4 Mathematics
  • Secondary 4 Science and Technology
    OR Secondary 4 Applied Science and Technology
  • Secondary 4 History and Citizenship Education

Program Prerequisites

This program has specific prerequisites.

  • Pre-admission physical tests (please see General Information in the How to Apply section below for more details)
  • Minimum of a probationary driver’s license by the first day of semester 1 (August).
OR a Secondary School Vocational Diploma which includes:
  • Secondary 5 Language of Instruction
  • Secondary 5 Second Language
  • Secondary 4 Mathematics

Please Note

Applicants who have not studied in Québec must have education deemed equivalent by the College.


More information

Students must obtain their 4A driver’s license by the end of the 5th semester, as failure to do so will result in ineligibility to complete the Emergency Vehicle Operation 181-612-AB course during the 6th semester.

How To Apply

John Abbott College is affiliated with the Service régional d’admission du Montréal métropolitain (SRAM) and uses its online application service.

The application deadline is March 1.

Warning: The documents and payment must be submitted by the deadline.


Program start: Fall


To apply:

  • Complete the online SRAM application
  • Select John Abbott and the program of your choice along with the corresponding SRAM program number: 181.A1
  • Upload any necessary documents directly to your online SRAM application

Students whose prerequisites are more than five years old should contact the Admissions Office.

General Information:

Here are links to the admissions-related requirements that are specific to this program:

Program Requirements:

1. Canadian citizen or landed immigrant
2. Have a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent studies
3. Possess a minimum probationary driver’s license
4. Pass the physical testing. The testing is by invitation only. Selected applicants will receive an invitation email after the March 1 application deadline. Passing the test does not guarantee admission.
After conditional acceptance:
5. No criminal record and agree to have a “vérification et divulgation d’antécédents judiciaires” done after a conditional acceptance (if 18 years and over) – this will be done through the school for those living on the Island of Montreal
6. Pass a medical examination (through the student’s personal physician)
7. Complete immunization status to comply with the Québec Immunization Protocol for “Health care workers, stagiaires and their teachers.”

Admissions Office
514-457-6610 x5358, 5355 & 5361

Paramedic Care Department

*For all information requests concerning this program, or the physical testing, communicate by email with the Paramedic Care Department at
No member of the Paramedic Care Program will answer information requests by telephone or voicemail.

Student for a Day Program

You are interested in John Abbott College and would like spend a few hours on campus?

Please follow this link to fill out the form Student for a day, and someone will contact you to set up a time for you to come to JAC and discover our campus.

During the tour, you will visit our newly renovated library, our sports facilities, the campus store, the cafeteria, etc. You will also be shown all the services offered on “Main Street”. If you have questions about application and programs, you can speak to someone in Admissions.

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