Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What is the difference between VAVRS and OEMS?
    • VAVRS
      • The VAVRS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with an extensive history of assisting and advocating for EMS agencies in Virginia since 1935. Today we represent over 300 agencies with approximately 20,000 members. We are dedicated to meeting the ever-changing demands of emergency medical responders from all backgrounds and experiences. We provide high quality training and a collaborative environment for all emergency medical responders.
      • We offer things like EVOC and DICO certifications as required by OEMS. 
      • We also offer a variety of technical rescue training that goes beyond caring for patients in the back of the ambulance. 
      • The VAVRS also provides legalstive advocacy and leadership training. 
    • OEMS
      • The Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS) is a state agency responsible for planning and coordinating an effective and efficient statewide EMS system. They assure quality prehospital patient care, from when the call is received by the 911 center to the delivery of the patient to the trauma center or hospital.
      • They are Virginia EMS regulatory body and does inspections to ensure compliance. 
      • They oversee the certification of EMTs, AEMTs, and Paramedics within the state. 
      • They also oversee the RSAF Grant Program.
      • They offer some leadership courses such as EMS Officer I. 
  2. How long are VAVRS certifications valid for?
    • All VAVRS certifications are valid for a period of 5 years with the exception of Designated Infection Control Officer (DICO) and Instructor Certifications. DICO certifications are valid for two years and you must attend an update in order to recertify. Instructor certifications are valid for a period of 3 years. In order to recertify their instructor certification they must teach three (3) courses and attend one (1) instructor update. 
  3. How do I setup a class through VAVRS if I am not an instructor?
    • Email the state office at, and provide the following information:
      • Course Requested
      • Where you would like the course to be held
      • Timeframe you would like to course to be offered
  4. How do I setup a class through VAVRS if I am an instructor?
    • Go to "News and Forms" tab
    • Select "Forms"
    • Scroll to "VAVRS Training Forms"
    • Select and download "Course Announcement Form"
    • Complete and email to
  5. How do I become a VAVRS Instructor?
    • Complete and Pass the Methods of Instruction Course or equivalent (VDFP/DCJS Instructor, EC for OEMS, etc.)
    • Complete and Pass the Instructor Course for the program in which they are interested. (Usually offered at Rescue College)
      • You must hold the initial certification for the course prior to becoming an Instructor. 
  6. What is the cost for each class I take?
    • If you are a member of a VAVRS affiliated agency, there is no cost. If you are not a member, the cost is $100.
  7. Where do I find my certification after I complete and pass a course?
    • Login to
    • Select "My Training"
    • Choose "View/Print Certificate" next to corresponding course
  8. How do I register for a course?
    • Go to
    • Go to "Training" tab
    • Select "Training Courses"
    • Scroll to desired course type
    • Select "View Upcoming Sessions"
    • Select "View" next to desired class
    • Select green "Register Now" button
    • Fill in registration form and pay fee if applicable
  9. What should I do if I need to cancel registering for a course?
    • Contact the State Office at 804-749-8191, or email at Please give us at least 24 hours notice before cancelling/withdrawing from a class.
  10. What is VAVRS doing to stop the spread of COVID-19?
    • The VAVRS is committeed to ensure the safety and well-being of our Members and Instructors. Social distancing and face coverings are required during all VAVRS courses. Instructors should also be posting a symptom check post as well as doing extra sanitation procedures. For more infomation on how VAVRS has responded to COVID-19 please click the following link, COVID-19 Information