Selections FAQ

Selections Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in joining EST! Our goal is to ensure that each potential applicant makes an informed decision about whether to join EST and over the years, we've gotten a lot of questions about our selections process. The questions below are some of the most common. Please refer to the EST website and/or the EST WUGO page for any additional information if you cannot locate it here.If you can't find the answer to your questions, please feel free to contact the selections co-chairs at We are impartial in the decision process and would love to hear from you and will respond to your question(s) as soon as possible.

Is the application process going to be online?

As the school’s plan for fall 2021 is finalized, we will decide between an online or in person application process. Applicants will be informed of this decision as it is made. We expect that it will be some of both. As we have run both an online and in person selections processes in the past, the format will not change the content or process.

Can I still apply if I am taking the first and/or second semester online?

Depending on the university’s 2021 plan, we will make a decision regarding this as the fall approaches. While traditionally a significant amount of the new member experience occurs in person during the first and second semester, plans are ongoing and dependent on the continuing COVID-19 situation. We will work to accommodate all situations.

If my plans to get certified EMT-certified before this fall were changed because of Covid-19, can I still apply?

If you are an incoming freshman, your certification or lack thereof does not influence your application. Unfortunately, sophomores who were unable to become certified are unable to apply. If you are a sophomore who has obtained a provisional NREMT certification instead of a full license, you may apply.

Will joining EST put me at a greater risk for getting COVID-19?

As the pandemic is ongoing, any situation where you come into contact with other people poses a risk of COVID-19. The team has updated our PPE requirements on all calls, and more information on our expectations and adjusted safety measures will be available in the coming weeks. The majority of the first year experience of new techs does not involve taking duty, but instead working towards an EMT-B certification and integrating with the team. Our first priority is always the safety of team members, including those joining us this fall, and team members are never required to take duty if they feel unsafe doing so.

What are you looking for in an applicant? 

We are seeking enthusiastic and team-oriented applicants who we believe would become dedicated and exceptional EMTs. We look for applicants who are passionate about supporting the community through patient care and social justice. We have learned over the years that any of a number of qualities can contribute to the Emergency Support Team. We are looking for you to be yourself. Just tell us who you are and what you're all about in both your application and your interviews.

How many applicants apply each year? How many will you take?  

The number of applicants we receive varies greatly from year to year. In the past, we have received up to 150 applicants. Each year we invite around 100 applicants to the first round interviews. At the end of the process, we will welcome up to 20 new techs to our team.

I'm a junior or senior. Can I still apply?

Unfortunately, due to our training schedule and the needs of the team, we can only consider first-years (regardless of medical knowledge) and sophomores who have already obtained their EMT-B license. We are truly sorry if this prevents you from applying but hope that you understand our reasons. Please contact the selections chairs if you have any questions.

I already have an EMT license; does that give me any advantage?  

While it's great that you already have experience in our field, we are primarily focused on what you as an individual are bringing to the team. However, don't be afraid to mention previous experience because it will help us see one side of you - your interest in emergency medicine! Keep in mind, sophomores must have obtained their EMT licenses to be considered.

I don't have any medical experience; will that hurt me in the application process?

No, absolutely not. We provide techs with all the training they need.

I applied last year but did not make the team. Can I reapply?

If you have taken the time to obtain an EMT-B license on your own, we would love to reconsider you. However, know that just because you are reapplying does not guarantee you a spot on the team.

Is EST a big time commitment?

Yes. Once on the team, you will train for 10-15 hours in the first several weeks to become CPR/Standard First Aid certified. Second semester, all of the new techs who do not have their EMT license will take an EMT course together that is about 8-12 hours a week. In addition, all techs attend a mandatory meeting each week. Anticipate taking 4-8 hours of duty time each week at the start. Finally, there are many opportunities and roles that help complete the EST experience and keep EST a fully functioning team. These roles vary in time commitment, but together with duty and school can take a significant proportion of your time.  Keep in mind, though, that while on duty you may do homework in your room (if on campus), go to class, eat, or sleep.

I heard you guys are just a bunch of pre-meds. Is that true? 

EST techs hail from many of the undergraduate schools, with a variety of majors and professional aspirations. Our alumni have done many things after graduating, from Teach for America to the Peace Corps to medical school to working in the business world.

When will we find out if we made the team?

Selections for EST consists of two rounds of interviews. A cut is made after each round, and you will be sent an e-mail indicating your present status in the selections process. On rare occasions, EST has had to conduct a third round of interviews when decisions have been very difficult. You will always be notified via e-mail regardless of whether you made the team or not.