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  1. #1
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Advice on fire fighter certification

    Hello everyone. First of all, I am not a fire fighter, but my daughter wants to become a paramedic, so I was hoping for a little advice. I apologize that this is a bit long, but I could really use some advice from those who know.

    Secondly, before I discuss her situation, I just want to say THANK YOU to all the men and women on this web site who serve as fire fighters, paramedics, and e.m.t.s. We simply can not thank you enough for your selfless sacrifice that you all make on a daily basis to keep us all safe. GOD BLESS each and every one of you.

    Now, on to my daughter. She just graduated e.m.t. school from the Sachse, Texas fire department. She is in the process of testing for her state certification. She wants to become a paramedic. She has pretty much lined up the paramed training, and she wants to hire on with the city of Sachse. She was told that she has to have her fire fighter certification (please forgive me as I do not know the exact name of the certification). It is a $2,500 investment that will be extremely difficult to come up with, but she absolutely insists that she has to do this to hire on in Sachse as a paramed. I have read some of the postings on here, and it seems that 1) it will be very difficult to just "hire on" with the Sachse fire department, 2) there are other fire departments that will hire her, and then send her to a fire academy, 3) having a fire certification may not mean anything to the department she may ultimately wind up at. I also wanted input as to whether most departments require their paramedics to be fire certified. She seems to think that she absolutely has to be fire certified to get on with any department, even though all she wants is to be a paramedic. Truthfully, I do not know if she could meet the physical requirements of being a full blown fire fighter.

    I do not want to discourage her, but I would like some input to help put her in the best possible position to succeed. Thank you for any input that you may be able to provide. Again, I apologize that this is so lengthy.

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    Join Date
    Jun 2006


    First off congratulations on your daughter on passing the course. I've tried to read up as much information on how city of Sachse operates on their website but they don't really disclose much about their process other than that they just recently in 2000 transitioned from volunteer to a paid department.

    Most if not all medic programs require you to be certified as a basic first, which your daughter is doing. The program itself can range from an associates degree or certification both roughly 1.5-2 years of didactic and clinicals. Afterwards she will have to take another state/national registry test to be certified.

    Now on to your questions. Most departments in the nation are having a tough time hiring at the moment, but its good that your daughter wants to get the medic cert because it will give her the edge in the hiring process. Sachse only has two stations and in smaller departments it's tough to get on since you're competing with a couple hundred people to fill a couple of positions, and that is if the department is hiring.

    Most of the larger sized departments excluding Florida and a few others will require you to go through their fire academy whether or not you're already certified. I went through 3 rookie schools before finally staying with my current department. It's to make sure you learn the ways/techniques/methods that, THAT department is doing so that everyone is on the same page when you get into the field. Leading up to the last question, yes the fire certification and prior experience in firefighting does mean anything other than another thing on your resume.

    Most pre hospital care at the paramedic level is done through the fire departments 70/30 give or take. San Francisco has three levels of hiring H1-Paramedic H2-FF/EMT H3-FireMedics. There are many other departments that recruit/hire this way where EMS and Fire are two seperate divisions. Where as all Paramedics in the state of NJ are all hospital based. In reality it all depends on what your daughter wants to do and how far she is willing to move to get the job.

  3. #3
    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Collierville, TN


    1. Why become a Firefighter if her goal is to just be a medic? You can work at many palces as just a medic.

    2. If she wants to be a medic go ahead and become an EMT first.

    3. She needs to decide if she wants to do the fire academy or Paramedic school. I don't recomend doing both at the same time.

    4. Talk to the department in question. They will be able to tell her whats required.

  4. #4
    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Collierville, TN


    Quote Originally Posted by jklm128 View Post
    Most pre hospital care at the paramedic level is done through the fire departments 70/30 give or take.
    Where did you get that from? not saying your wrong, but a lot of fire companies run as a first responder where paramedic care may be given but most do not transport. Also, you have to include all the private services.

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