T Nation

Anyone an EMT/Paramedic?

So we’ve had Police thread lately and Firefighter thread. Thought I’d start one for EMT/Paramedic.

I’ve been considering fire fighting as a possible career switch and think I’d be good at it and really enjoy it. At least here in Florida the course is 9am-5pm M-F and all day Saturday or 10pm-6pm M-F and all day Saturday. The first part is EMT, second part is Fire I, third part is Fire II.

It even specifies that after the first part you are an EMT and not everyone continues to Fire I. I’m thinking if I don’t have a full time job by Summer to take the EMT course so I could start working as an EMT and then decide to either pursue Paramedic or Firefighter next year in the evening while being a certified EMT.

I’m curious how the job market is looking and how hard is it to find work?
How difficult is it to find a consistent schedule either all day shifts or all night shifts so that I could work as EMT while continuing my education?
I know Firefighters in my area are 2 on 3 off, is it similar for EMT or is EMT a more “normal” schedule?

What’s it really like being an EMT in the private or public sector?

Does anyone know if there’s any organizations that help fund people to become EMT (or Firefighters for that matter)?

Bump. :slight_smile:

hmm.

if it’s anything like fire/police departments, wouldn’t you be able to apply for the job, they hire you, and then THEY fund EMT school?

that way you’re not paying out of pocket, you know u already have a job, and u’re not wasting your time

Im a FF/EMT-B right now, and am currently going through Paramedic school. Here in Texas FFing is ridiculously competitive. Ive applied at places where 30-40 people will show up for 1 opening. Im currently with the Corpus Christi Fire Department, and our recruiting class was 17 people out of 600+ applicants. San Antonio has had over 5000 applicants for their hiring processes before.

There will always be some demand for FFing because, like police, it is basically an essential service all bigger cities have to provide. However, with the economy in its current state I know a lot of places are scaling back, and here at CCFD we arent having another recruiting class next year. Becoming a paramedic would be ideal though, because although the need for FFs may wain, the need for paramedics (or those in the medical field in general) will only continue to increase.

Scheduling has to do with how the schedules work in you area. Here in Texas most FFs are on a 24 on 48 off schedule, while stand alone EMTs and Paramedics generally work 12 hour shifts. If you have classes and stuff to take, then youll have to work out scheduling through either a) your employer or b) through shift swapping which is what many in the FD do.

Working as an EMT/Paramedic can be great or suck depending on who you work for. Working for EMS through the FD usually guarantees you some of the more interesting calls, where as working for a private company usually means youll just be transporting dialysis patients and such. Work with the 911 provider in your area if you dont want to be a nursing home shuttle.

Whew…hope some of that helps. Anything I didnt answer is probably because I dont know anything about it.

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
hmm.

if it’s anything like fire/police departments, wouldn’t you be able to apply for the job, they hire you, and then THEY fund EMT school?

that way you’re not paying out of pocket, you know u already have a job, and u’re not wasting your time[/quote]

In Today’s market at least here in Orlando none of those organizations will pay for your schooling. Even the Police expect you to pay for Academy out of pocket. Not that I want to be a Police but I did look into it anyways.

Thanks for the reply HTowner

I’m currently going through my EMT-B class and I love it. Drift, it’s definitely worth pursuing IMO

[quote]Htowner wrote:
Im a FF/EMT-B right now, and am currently going through Paramedic school. Here in Texas FFing is ridiculously competitive. Ive applied at places where 30-40 people will show up for 1 opening. Im currently with the Corpus Christi Fire Department, and our recruiting class was 17 people out of 600+ applicants. San Antonio has had over 5000 applicants for their hiring processes before.

There will always be some demand for FFing because, like police, it is basically an essential service all bigger cities have to provide. However, with the economy in its current state I know a lot of places are scaling back, and here at CCFD we arent having another recruiting class next year. Becoming a paramedic would be ideal though, because although the need for FFs may wain, the need for paramedics (or those in the medical field in general) will only continue to increase.

Scheduling has to do with how the schedules work in you area. Here in Texas most FFs are on a 24 on 48 off schedule, while stand alone EMTs and Paramedics generally work 12 hour shifts. If you have classes and stuff to take, then youll have to work out scheduling through either a) your employer or b) through shift swapping which is what many in the FD do.

Working as an EMT/Paramedic can be great or suck depending on who you work for. Working for EMS through the FD usually guarantees you some of the more interesting calls, where as working for a private company usually means youll just be transporting dialysis patients and such. Work with the 911 provider in your area if you dont want to be a nursing home shuttle.

Whew…hope some of that helps. Anything I didnt answer is probably because I dont know anything about it. [/quote]

So who is on divert right now? Memorial or Shoreline? I worked Memorial ER from 2000-2005. Tell Dr. Simmons Derek says Hi. Drank a lot of beer with that guy.

[quote]Enders Drift wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
hmm.

if it’s anything like fire/police departments, wouldn’t you be able to apply for the job, they hire you, and then THEY fund EMT school?

that way you’re not paying out of pocket, you know u already have a job, and u’re not wasting your time[/quote]

In Today’s market at least here in Orlando none of those organizations will pay for your schooling. Even the Police expect you to pay for Academy out of pocket. Not that I want to be a Police but I did look into it anyways.

Thanks for the reply HTowner[/quote]

Agreed, the market here in jax is so flooded with these Concorde, Everest, and all those other worthless schools graduates from EMT courses that there are no basic EMT jobs around. Hell even to be an entry firefighter here you need to have gone through the firefighter courses and be a paramedic to be hired.

Im currently pursuing a career in FF but here in Illinois most departments you have to be 21 to apply. First off I currently work for a private ambulance company. It is not a very exciting jobs, it is basically hospital to nursing home, home, or hospital transfers. The pay sucks with all privates as an EMT-B because the turnover rate is so high. They know most people are just doing this until they get their EMT-P cert or get on a paid dept.

I currently work 3 12 hr shifts a week sun-tues, its really not that bad, because I am planning on getting a second job over the summer. But as I said the pay sucks. I make 9/hr with a 5$ bonus on every call if the paperwork is done right, we usually run 4-6 calls in 12 hrs.

As for getting on a dept as a FF, here you MUST have your EMT-B and your CPAT (certified physical agility test?) cert to even apply. Google the CPAT, it doesnt seem that bad. Many departments are also requiring you to be an EMT-P to even put in an app. The competition is tough and with the economy a lot of dept are on a hiring freeze. Some depts will also hire you on and then if you do not complete and receive your EMT-P cert within your 1 year probation you are fired, but if you do get hired that way they pay for medic school.

Now a days with how houses and building are being built the majority of calls an FD takes is EMS, at least from my understanding, which is why being a medic is becoming to crucial. Personally I intend to apply for about a year and at that point if I do not have a job I will attend medic school. Also a good thing about working for the an ambulance is that it keeps you up to date on your CE (continued education) which you need an x amount of every 2-4 years to keep you license active. if it lapses you have to retake the whole course.

Also from my understanding Fl is a “special” state. hiring is slow there now and how they accept certs seems to be goofy. Go talk to one of your local FD and see what they say. But if you are interested in this career 100% get your EMT-B ASAP.

Another good site is www.firehouse.com hover your mouse over the community tab on the home page and click on forums, lots of really good information in there, use the search engine, which actually works and read up on everything you can. There are many experienced and intelligent men and women on that site that are more than willing to answer your questions.

Honestly I have no intention of re reading my post to check for clarification and sorry it is kind of a cluster f*ck. if you have any more questions feel free to PM me or post it here. I am not the most knowledgeable seeing as i am not even in the profession yet but i have done a lot of research and will happily answer anything I possibly can.

Side note- HTowner- it seems like texas is doing a lot of hiring now, if you have any good information regarding texas FF i would really appreciate it. Thanks and good luck, stay safe.

Getting hired as a basic anymore is really tough. My class was probably one of the last to be hired that was an all EMT-B academy with my department.

Working private ambulance is a good way to go for a starting EMT-B, the problem is the pay usually sucks balls.

Check your local FD, and go into stations and talk to the crew on duty. Just about any crew will be willing to talk to you if you show up looking somewhat presentable (hint do not wear your flip flops). Your asking us about becoming a part of the organization and we do remember faces when we see them later on.

Do ride alongs also these can be a great in road to see if you want to pursue the career or if you just don’t have the stomach for it.

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:
Getting hired as a basic anymore is really tough. My class was probably one of the last to be hired that was an all EMT-B academy with my department.

Working private ambulance is a good way to go for a starting EMT-B, the problem is the pay usually sucks balls.

Check your local FD, and go into stations and talk to the crew on duty. Just about any crew will be willing to talk to you if you show up looking somewhat presentable (hint do not wear your flip flops). Your asking us about becoming a part of the organization and we do remember faces when we see them later on.

Do ride alongs also these can be a great in road to see if you want to pursue the career or if you just don’t have the stomach for it.[/quote]

Don’t forget to bring treats! :stuck_out_tongue:

jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.[/quote]

If only it was that easy…

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.[/quote]

If only it was that easy…[/quote]

is it not that easy? seems pretty straight foward to me

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.[/quote]

If only it was that easy…[/quote]

is it not that easy? seems pretty straight foward to me[/quote]

I think it’s hard on two different levels: first there are hardly any Army firefighters out there anymore, to get that MOS would be pretty tough… in fact most of those positions go to, I believe, Reserve or the Natty Guard, which of course entirely depend on what state you live in. Then there’s the case of getting into a civilian dept. after being a Army firefighter if you are on, I don’t know how realistic that is, maybe lanchefan can expand on that one.

I’m on my way to become one, but it seems like the education works very differently here in Norway, so I doubt I can be of any assistance.

[quote]PB Andy wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.[/quote]

If only it was that easy…[/quote]

is it not that easy? seems pretty straight foward to me[/quote]

I think it’s hard on two different levels: first there are hardly any Army firefighters out there anymore, to get that MOS would be pretty tough… in fact most of those positions go to, I believe, Reserve or the Natty Guard, which of course entirely depend on what state you live in.

Then there’s the case of getting into a civilian dept. after being a Army firefighter if you are on, I don’t know how realistic that is, maybe lanchefan can expand on that one.[/quote]

Certainly!

Going from military to FD or PD is not a lateral move. Most FD or PD hiring are done by a civil service commission. They are there to keep everything on an even playing field, and they do this by it being a rigerous testing process.

So no it isn’t that easy (and I can expand more if you like).

Lanchefan where in CO do you FF

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]PB Andy wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:

[quote]lanchefan1 wrote:

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.[/quote]

If only it was that easy…[/quote]

is it not that easy? seems pretty straight foward to me[/quote]

I think it’s hard on two different levels: first there are hardly any Army firefighters out there anymore, to get that MOS would be pretty tough… in fact most of those positions go to, I believe, Reserve or the Natty Guard, which of course entirely depend on what state you live in.

Then there’s the case of getting into a civilian dept. after being a Army firefighter if you are on, I don’t know how realistic that is, maybe lanchefan can expand on that one.[/quote]

Certainly!

Going from military to FD or PD is not a lateral move. Most FD or PD hiring are done by a civil service commission. They are there to keep everything on an even playing field, and they do this by it being a rigerous testing process.

So no it isn’t that easy (and I can expand more if you like).[/quote]

Please do. I have taken the EMT-B class and passed it but unfortunately did not pass the National Registry. I am planning on taking the test again after the 2 week buffer from the date of the first test.

I had thought about what HolyMac said and it seems like military experience can help you in turn become a better candidate to becoming an EMT, or furthermore a medic.

[quote]HolyMacaroni wrote:
jesus, i didn’t know it was that hard.

uhhh…join the army, branch engineer, and become a military firefighter for 4 years.

when your contract runs out, go transfer to a civillian dept.[/quote]

Could one not just stay on as a military firefighter? Seems like it would be a sweet gig. Guns and hoses. What’s not to like?