1. #1
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    Default Stop crying, this is Florida and we do EMS

    After replying on another thread I have to get up on my soap box for a minute, please bear with me. Just a little background I started as an Explorer in the mid 90's, was a volunteer for quite a while and have been a paid FF/PM for 9 years. I'm not a really senior guy, but I'm not a real junior guy either. So here we go.

    I am tired of people asking where they can go here in Florida to work as just a firefighter so they don't have to ride an ALS engine or the rescue, nurse wagon, band-aid box, blue team mobile or what every else you call your transport units and then complain when they can't find that magic department because they don't want to do any patient care. We run 90% EMS in Florida, it is a fact of life. Fire academy instructors tell recruits that on the first day of fire school, so why students seem so surprised when they can't go find a fire only job once they get their fire cert I don't understand. I mean EMT is a whole 3 months, an extra 3 months of schooling to get what we consider the best job in the world. let alone going to medic school. Then, once they do get hired as a FF/EMT or FF/PM, they still complain about running medical calls. WTF over, did you not notice all the medical calls during your ride times. Please get a job somewhere else, or did you forget about applying with hundreds of others for that one position. I have friends from high school with 4 year degrees that work 2-3 times as much as I do and for far less money. Keep that in mind when your complaining about running on granny who fell and can't get up. And buy the way, stop crying when us more senior guys get engine time before you do!

    I'm not bothered by the guys with 20-30 years on the job who are anti-EMS, and thats because EMS wasn't part of the job description back then. The funny thing is that most of them acknowledge that if it wasn't for EMS we wouldn't have the staffing and budgets we do and that the rescue crews do the majority of the work. If you want to be just a firefighter then go work with the under paid, under staffed and over worked guys a Forestry. I guaranty after a few months during fire season you'll have a different outlook on going to EMT and medic school.

    So for anyone inquiring about becoming a paid firefighter here in Florida I have one thing to say:

    Stop crying, this is Florida and we do EMS.

    If you don't like it then move to another state.
    If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

    Firefighter/Paramedic

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    Good post bro. We all love getting fire runs and good extrication calls but, like you said, a majority of the time it is your bread and butter EMS runs that are the day to day. Plus, being a medic isn't such a bad gig especially when you get a good ALS call.
    -Rob
    Greater love has no man than to lay his life down for a friend.

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    i agree 100%... EMS Rescues justify our jobs......without rescues we would all probably be volunteers.....i have my issues being on the box just as much as any one else.....but you know what i have a job and i am doing my medic now since this is where this job is going.

    and one more thing to add......dont complain when as an EMT in a Fire/EMS dept you are stuck ridin a box because your dept has enough medics to ride 1 medic backwards and 1 medic on the box......its where the job is going

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    Talking

    True......

    Running EMS calls is part of the job at just about every fire department in the state. If a person doesn't want to run EMS calls then they should get a job in another state or not go through the basic recruit program.

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    I just figured I'd throw in a little input as well on here. It might just be me, and I may be crazy haha, but I actually like running EMS calls on the Box. I think it is great experience, I do agree some calls should be handled by American or Rural Metro here in Orlando, and not by us, but who doesn't enjoy (not to sound twisted) a damn good EMS run. I think they (they being a "good" EMS run, not vomiting or "sick person") get the adrenaline pumping sometimes just as much as a Fire, and what beats the feeling of a sweet Code save? I don't know I can honestly say my life could be a lot worse and in a job I hate, so I am very appreciative to be doing ANYTHING involved with the Fire Service, and know that there is great job security in these rough times, what more can you ask for?

    You know what I also find funny about some people, you would think the people who say "I'm all about Fire, Fire Fire Fire" would be in the best shape of their lives, and ready for "the big one" When half the time, it's the guys who say they want fire all the time, sucking down their air bottles like it's goin out of style and constantly hanging out in rehab, and when they are "fighting fire" and stumble across a victim perhaps, don't even have the brains enough to figure out how to treat them when they get the person outside, it really is funny, but not to be laughed at, just shows how there are some one track minds out there. Fire Fire Fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by layinonair View Post
    I just figured I'd throw in a little input as well on here. It might just be me, and I may be crazy haha, but I actually like running EMS calls on the Box. I think it is great experience, I do agree some calls should be handled by American or Rural Metro here in Orlando, and not by us, but who doesn't enjoy (not to sound twisted) a damn good EMS run. I think they (they being a "good" EMS run, not vomiting or "sick person") get the adrenaline pumping sometimes just as much as a Fire, and what beats the feeling of a sweet Code save? I don't know I can honestly say my life could be a lot worse and in a job I hate, so I am very appreciative to be doing ANYTHING involved with the Fire Service, and know that there is great job security in these rough times, what more can you ask for?

    You know what I also find funny about some people, you would think the people who say "I'm all about Fire, Fire Fire Fire" would be in the best shape of their lives, and ready for "the big one" When half the time, it's the guys who say they want fire all the time, sucking down their air bottles like it's goin out of style and constantly hanging out in rehab, and when they are "fighting fire" and stumble across a victim perhaps, don't even have the brains enough to figure out how to treat them when they get the person outside, it really is funny, but not to be laughed at, just shows how there are some one track minds out there. Fire Fire Fire.

    Totally agree, just wish I could say the same about job security.

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    I occasionally sneak over here to get information from behind enemy lines. so to speak...

    I am approaching my 20th year in EMS, and have work all sorts of jobs, including fire, and am so very very happy to be at a quality non fire based EMS service (govt, 3rd service, benies, retirement, etc) where I get to worry about one thing...taking care of people...So....I have to speak up....

    1- I applaud the OP for his realistic view of EMS. Too often I run on calls with our local FDs who are about running calls, but provide crappy patient care, especially when that care is simply being nice to people. Iím talking guys who would jump in a burning building to save a cat...but cant find a way to help smile at grandma at 3 AM.

    2- On the same note, easily 1/2 of our applicants here have the same view...they only want to run "good" calls, and only want to be here until they can get ont he fire department. Needless to say, when we pick up on this, we throw their application in file 13.

    2-Coming from a professional paramedic view...(Why me not being a firefighter makes me less of a paramedic in some of your eyes I'll never know....but anyway...I digress... ) My fellow paramedics and I HATE IT when yahoos dilute our profession by going to medic school just to get a "cush fire job" (exact words used by one student, dont throw stones), and then provide sloppy care making the rest of us (Professionals, regardless of the Department you work for) look bad.


    Just as you guys hate people who use their medic to back door their way in, I hate people who get their medic but who have no interest in being a good paramedic!

    They make you guys look as bad as they make us look bad. The sooner we all nip this trend in the bud the better.

    I guess I have to say that realizing that EMS is an essential, and even special part of the job is the first step to doing it rightÖ..because if you cant get a recruit to think that EMS important, why do you expect him to do it well?
    Steve

    Paramedic, CCEMT-P, Geek

    "Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no matter how good you are, eventually it will break. "

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    Yes, that's definitely the problem. If you really love paramedicine, you'll want to do it as a career. I hear great things about depts in the Pacific Northwest, but third service municipal EMS generally doesn't seem to be as well respcted as the fire service. Pay scale, working conditions, benefits, pension, call volume, vehicle maintenance, supplies, etc. pale in comparison. It's necessary to join a combo dept. to have a decent career, nowadays. Having worked EMS for six years, I would never go back, after experiencing life as a firemedic. It'll never compare. Others in my recruit class with prior EMS experience said the same thing. A strong medic will eventually be fed up with the bs and either go to RN/PA school, or seek a career in fire based EMS. There are way too many medic factories around nowadays, which will keep producing medics to work third service for low pay, inferior benefits, etc. Too much supply. At my dept, medics are now required to do a 16 week ALS field internship on the ambulance, with classroom sessions once per week. New FF's receive EMT training in the academy, where the importance of EMS is continually stressed. Hopefully this will give the new "backdoor" medics some level of competence when they make it to the field.

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    Firemedic, i think you summed it all up

    and as one of the underpaid, overworked and understaffed brothers in green (Forestry), I wholeheartedly agree (not that we don't have our own EMT's and even a few Pm's who volunteer with local agencies, and help take care of our own, plus visitors to our State Forests)

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    Yes, that's definitely the problem. If you really love paramedicine, you'll want to do it as a career. I hear great things about depts in the Pacific Northwest, but third service municipal EMS generally doesn't seem to be as well respcted as the fire service. Pay scale, working conditions, benefits, pension, call volume, vehicle maintenance, supplies, etc. pale in comparison. It's necessary to join a combo dept. to have a decent career, nowadays. .
    Fortunately, I think we are an exception to that rule.
    Steve

    Paramedic, CCEMT-P, Geek

    "Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no matter how good you are, eventually it will break. "

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    Quote Originally Posted by croaker260 View Post
    Fortunately, I think we are an exception to that rule.
    Good deal. I wish that were the case elsewhere, and that it wasn't necessary to relocate several states from home to work at a decent place. It's sad that EMS professionals aren't as well respected(generalization) as Fire/Police, get slapped around, receive inferior benefits/working conditions/retirement, and deal with a lot of bs on a fairly constant basis. Before I joined Fairfax, I worked for Charleston County EMS in SC. The pay was good, but that was about it. 28 and out state retirement at 60% no DROP, 24/48 schedule that would typically become a 48/24 irrespective of OT picked up, on call for 12 hours twice a month without any extra compensation, to use any leave, you MUST get a co-worker to work in your place, everyone's schedule is changed every six months, promotions are entirely subjective courtesy of the "old boys club", it's typical for a co-worker to pat you on the back and stab you in the back at the same time,micro managing by middle management, and construcive criticism/feedback by employees is undesireable. If there was ever a place that needed a union, this was it. The medic turnover was incredible. My redneck Lieutenant said "plenty of people have come down to work here from the North, and they don't do so well. They always want to change things(no s**t). CCEMS is a tough place to work". This experience soured my opinion towards third service EMS, and is one of the reasons that I will never go back to that type of environment. Ever notice how the majority of experienced non fire based EMS providers seem disgruntled, irritable, hostile, just plain burnt? I wish things weren't this way. I'm glad at least one person has something positive to say about their service.

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    Also, I've heard good things about Lee County EMS in FL. Several of my former co-workers went down there, and haven't looked back.

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    As a person who works for one of the two fire districts in Lee County that do our own transports Lee County EMS has its issues, but who doesnt. If you are looking for a good 3rd service EMS with good pay, benefits, and aggressive protocols it would be a good service. Not a perfect place, but if I had to go back to an EMS only job (I enjoy patient care but like to fight fire on occasion also, so now I have a job with turnouts and SCBA on my ambulance) I would definetly consider going there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    Good deal. I wish that were the case elsewhere, and that it wasn't necessary to relocate several states from home to work at a decent place. It's sad that EMS professionals aren't as well respected(generalization) as Fire/Police, get slapped around, receive inferior benefits/working conditions/retirement, and deal with a lot of bs on a fairly constant basis. Before I joined Fairfax, I worked for Charleston County EMS in SC. The pay was good, but that was about it. 28 and out state retirement at 60% no DROP, 24/48 schedule that would typically become a 48/24 irrespective of OT picked up, on call for 12 hours twice a month without any extra compensation, to use any leave, you MUST get a co-worker to work in your place, everyone's schedule is changed every six months, promotions are entirely subjective courtesy of the "old boys club", it's typical for a co-worker to pat you on the back and stab you in the back at the same time,micro managing by middle management, and construcive criticism/feedback by employees is undesireable. If there was ever a place that needed a union, this was it. The medic turnover was incredible. My redneck Lieutenant said "plenty of people have come down to work here from the North, and they don't do so well.
    Gees...

    While our pay starts below the FD, we also work less hours, so if yuou were to put in the same hours, you would make more. Our schedule is better too! 48 hours, set schedule (read non rotating) a week....

    Our bennies are as good as, and in many cases better than , the local FDs.

    Our trade policy is both more and less liberal than the local FD, because we fall under different FLSA rules. Depending on your point of view, the same could be said for vacation time. But far better than what you describe.

    RETIREMENT: Same as Fire/Law enforcement here in Idaho. Rule of 80, then your full salary (Average of your highest five years I believe) for life, early out and retiring late (for even higher take home) are both options. And yes, we actually have more than a few make it to retirement intact.

    457K and other things to supplement it too.

    I was very surprised when I found street medics with well over 20 in here. And not because they were too stupid to promote, but because they liked it here.


    Well, I could promote my service more, but thats off topic a bit, so Im sorry to the other posters.

    Iíve heard god things about Lee County, and I visited Collier County for work related stuff about 8 years ago and found it nice, but I hear things have soured since then. With out starting a fire bashing / EMS bashing session, Ill let that slide.
    Last edited by croaker260; 05-04-2009 at 03:09 PM.
    Steve

    Paramedic, CCEMT-P, Geek

    "Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no matter how good you are, eventually it will break. "

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