(CA) Santa Clara Local System Exam??


Forum Ride Along
Hey everyone. I'm new here. I just got hired by an ambulance company as an EMT and I need to take the Santa Clara County Local Systems Exam. I've been trying to figure out how I'm supposed to study for it/what exactly to expect. Has anyone taken it? Right now I'm literally just reading through the policy manual, but there has to be a better way to do this. I also have no idea is this is a multiple choice or written answer exam. Any tips would be very much appreciated. Thanks!


Forum Probie
It's gonna be your policies, protocols, and field procedures. I'm imagining they gave you a book, thumb drive , or link to an app/website with these items. Just start reading them and knocking them out...big ones are determining death, know which hospitals accept what i.e Trauma Centers, Stroke, STEMIs, OB, know the policies on bypass if your county does it , 10 codes if you use them or any special radio codes you need to know all together. Mass Casualty procedures is usually a big one too....hopefully that sets you in the right direction. Good luck!


Non flying critical care flight attendant
Premium Member
Hey, I know a lot of people that work in Santa Clara County, CA. Previously, they only had an exam for paramedics and paramedic interns. This EMT exam I believe is extremely new, and very few people have taken it. In other words, probably nobody can tell you the answers.

I did my paramedic internship in Santa Clara County and took the accredition test. I feel like there is always a theme in Santa Clara County. I think the tests always seems to focus on a theme like MCI (they were really into MCIs once, and that's why they have you take all those stupid FEMA classes), ACLS (removal of atropine, added therapeutic hypothermia which was taken away during the saline shortage), sepsis. Lately, they've been into airway (for cardiac arrest, you must attempt laryngoscopy and use a bougie, which of course is not an EMT thing, lol) and strokes (instead of BE-FAST, they are now doing G-FAST, G being for gaze). Also they now have primary and comprehensive stroe centers which dependents on whether they have 4 points or not (before, you'd go to a comprehsive stroke center if the patient was last normal 3.5-5 hours ago, primary <3.5 or 5-6 hours ago). They were also pretty into CAN reports for whatever reasons. I would imagine that these would be in the test since I think that is how their EMS system rolls.

My recommendation would be to look for things unique to the county. You already went to EMT school to learn EMT things. Look for things are different from EMT/unique. So again, GFAST rather than FAST. "No further assistant needed" rather than code 4. Mustard stations at Fairground, DeAnza, and No Name Uno fire station/522/St Louis Hospital area. Things like that. Oh, Santa Clara EMS has really lame Youtube videos I'd watch on their Youtube account (one on the system itself, another on "technology" which are actually pretty standard in my opinion, and radio communication, so I'd watch those maybe?). In my opinion, they are kind of cringy to watch.


Don't sweat too much about the test. A lot of us think it is just there for the county to make more money rather than actually weed out bad EMTs.

If you have any questions about protocols/policies, feel free to ask here or message me. I may just be a whacker pretending to be a medic to gain online street cred. Who knows? Good luck!
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