Paramedic Vs. Military
Just found this forum and wanted to say what a great wealth of information its been! One question I still have is which would you say is more beneficial to being hired as a full time FF, being trained as an EMT-P or having the 5 preference points and experience that comes with being in the military? I had taken the St. Paul Fire test in '05 and came away with ranking around 150 out of about 700 on the eligibility list, but came up short. I'm taking it again this year and since '05 have obtained my EMT-B and a 4 year bachelors degree, but am afraid that I might come up short again. This is my dream job, but I'm really stumped as to which direction I should go. Right now I feel the military with the 5 preference points would be the biggest advantage for me to stand out on the list, although the city would probably like to save a little money by hiring a paramedic instead of training one. What do you think?
Thanks for the help
What you do is really up to you. But I think having the Paramedic cert is only going to help you after you score high enough on the written to rank well.
Other then you may try I am not sure about the department you are applying for but alot seem to give extra points to those that know a second language. Its an idea. You could always get your paramedic while in the military get those vet points and the paramedic. Make yourself as marketable as you can.
My personal feeling is you should do neither to get a fire job. You should do them because you want to and feel you would be good at them. People that have been in the military as well as people that are paramedics will tell you it was the toughest thing they ever did and you have to be able to apply yourself 100% or you won’t make it.
If you join the military in a time of war you could get killed. If you become a medic you could kill someone else, both carry heavy penalties, one is more permanent.
Unless things have changed a medic cert from the military doesn’t cross over into civilian life, but the experience does. I know a lot of people that came out of the military and had to go through medic school. But when they went to test they had some serious fire power in their interviews. I coached a guy who was the first on scene and declared the president of a country dead after an assassination, and was one the first people to Jessica Lynch when she was rescued. I wouldn’t have wanted to be the person going in after him for an interview.
While 5 points seems like a lot it can be overcome. Some parts of the country are more difficult to get hired without it than others, but you don’t see many departments that are all ex-military. Being on an ambulance as a medic and working as a volunteer firefighter for a few years would most likely be worth more than 5 points. I have coached a lot of people with military backgrounds that were still having trouble getting hired. The points don’t get you the job unless you can sell yourself in the interview.
If you weigh the two in light of what the best benefit is for you, the military would help you get hired after a tour of duty and you are four years older. You do get other benefits like the G.I. bill and help in paying for schooling, buying houses, and medical to name a few. If you become a medic it can also help you getting hired, you can probably start into your career a little earlier, and usually medics make more money about 5%, for your career and into retirement.
I don’t think anyone can answer your question, because it really has to come from your desires and both paths would require a huge commitment.
Good Luck, Capt Rob
Definitely do not join the military to just get a job. If you don't like it you are stuck for four years, plus spending 15+ weeks of your life doing nothing enjoyable. If its what you want to do, go for it.
If the paramedic is just something you are doing to get hired, it isn't worth it. Its basically a two year program, and if you don't like doing the medical stuff you will hate it.
Thanks for the reply's!
I agree I wouldn't be successful in the military or medic school if it was just for the hopes of gaining preference toward a job. However both options are still appealing to me without consideration towards a FF job. Its just that I can only realistically choose one route, medic school or military, and that I might as well go the route that offers the greatest benefit towards my future career.
Here's an experienced point of view. I spent 6 years in the military, mainly did it to get out of the area I grew up in. Got to travel and experience the world. Decided at about year 5 that I wanted to go in the opposite direction and save lives rather than take them. So I separated, started EMT the month I got out, Fire the month after I graduated from that, medic the next month after that. I'm hired, medics on hold. I wasnt sure I would love medic, but after starting I absolutely do. I was just gauging my interest based on EMT, but medic is a completely different animal. And those benefits you get after separating from the military are no joke. We added our totals up the other day at school, I go to class 2 days a week all day, and get paid $225 a day for being there, not including tuition. They cover your first home loan down payment, as long as you are approved by a lender, up to $36K. Sign on to be a firefighter in the military, and do your medic while stationed in the states. Your best opportunity to be able to complete medic would be in the Air Force, usually enough volunteers on their deployments, and you can deploy the next time after medic is done.
Hope this helps.