What supplies do I need for EMT School?

January 5, 2021 By: Donna Weiss

Are you interested in starting an EMT program or maybe you have already started and looking for suggestions?  I know it can be overwhelming starting a new career.  Not only are you going back to school, but you are starting a career in medicine.  Where do you start?  What supplies do you need to be successful?  What brand, what color…whew!

EMT school is a little different than your traditional math or English class.  Let’s face it, we are training you to respond to a medical emergency.   You will see people when they are feeling the worst.  We will not only train you on how to treat your patient appropriately, but we will also train you how to react and present yourself in front of your patient.  Your patient will expect you to arrive, and act, in a professional manner. 

The first step for preparing for EMT school will be to get a supply list from your school.  Your school should provide you with a list of mandatory supplies for class.  At Respond Right EMS Academy, our list of mandatory supplies includes a patient assessment kit (includes an adult blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, and pen light), 5.11 Navy EMS pants, black belt, black EMS boots, uniform polo, textbooks and a laptop or tablet.  In addition to these mandatory supplies, students will need basic school supplies such as paper, pen/pencil.

If your school does not indicate the type, brand, style, color, etc of supplies you must purchase, here are some basic guidelines for you:


  • Patient assessment kit – The basic items you will need to assess a patient are a


    blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, and a pen light. Don’t worry about getting products that are expensive or top of the line right now.  You are learning.  You will probably be very rough with your equipment right now.  That’s ok, that’s what it is for.  You should be using it a lot.  The cost for all three items should not cost more than about $50 – $60.  As you get more skilled and advanced in your training, you will want to spend more on these items.
  • EMS Pants – The industry standard for EMS (emergency medical services) style

    Navy EMS Pant

    pants in most St. Louis and St. Charles, MO area fire and EMS departments is Navy blue. Choose a style of EMS pant with some pockets, but don’t go overboard.  You will not need to carry all of your equipment with you all the time. 
  • Belt – A basic black belt is sufficient.  You want to make sure it is completely black.  NO emblems or markings.  NO big belt buckle.  Keep your buckle chrome or black.  We like the TDU belt from 5.11.  It is easy to put on and is very durable. 


  • Boots – We like black boots, but you may choose tennis shoes as well, just make sure you check with your program. We do not

    5.11 EMS Boot

    require safety toes, but it is a good idea.  The shoes must be all black, no markings, emblems, or white soles.  We like the 5.11 ATAC series of boot.  They are durable and comfortable. 
  • Polo – Please check with your program! Every program should have a uniform 

    polo that will be issued to you with your school logo on it.  At Respond Right EMS Academy, students are issued a uniform polo and have options to purchase additional uniform items.  Students will always be in their uniform during class activities or clinicals.

You are entering a professional environment and must look the part.  You may not have all the knowledge of a professional EMT right now, but you should dress the part.  Dressing professionally and being equipped with the correct supplies will give you the confidence to learn and apply the knowledge.  Be prepared for your first day of class.  Your instructor will be sure to inform you of any additional supplies you need as class progresses.

If you need additional guidance on supplies or how to get started as and EMT, feel free to reach out to me.

Written by: Toni Milan, Paramedic - Program Director
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