My current age is 15 (soon to be 16) and i was curious, what is the minimum age requirment to become a Certified First Responder? their is a local group of Firefighters/Emt's located in Killen, AL that gives the First Responder Class & test, so i was hoping that i would be able to take the course at my age (we have a shortage of responders in my area, and the nearest hospital has a extended ETA) Thanks in advance -Cody
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Thread: Alabama First Responder
02-22-2010, 12:44 PM #1
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- Oct 2009
Alabama First Responder
02-22-2010, 06:29 PM #2
With you only being 16, state regs may keep you from doing the class. I (17) can't take any tests until a few months from my 18 birthday. This includes EMT, FFI, FFII, etc. And at that age, you want to help (I know the feeling) but the maturity level just isn't there yet to be able to handle that type of responsiblity. And its a whole different ballgame when you lose someone...
02-22-2010, 07:38 PM #3
I appreciate your zeal, but you've got a while to wait. The minimum age for a Fire College sanctioned course is 18. Additionally, there are limits as to what you can do even as a ridealong. You can see those here: http://www.alalabor.alabama.gov/PDFs...Guidelines.pdf
02-22-2010, 08:11 PM #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
The other reason is that it is First Responder Certification standards are controlled by the DOT, and the general rule of thumb when dealing with any major government certification is 18 the federal age of majority. Yes, I do realize that it is up to the individual states to regulate the individual licensing requirements. However, the individual state regulations generally follow the National standards and I'm not aware of any state that allows for the licensing of any individual until after their 18th birthday in regards to First Responder/EMT/MICT. Not trying to knock people under the age of 18, but If they allowed minors to become First Responders/EMTs/MICTs and anything went wrong an ambulance chaser would be all over that situation faster than you can say Money. I hope that helps and don't take my post to mean I don't think you can't be an asset on a Medical scene. When I first joined I spent many hours as the Go'fer. You'd be surprised how much help it is to have somebody carrying the Medbag, opening doors, or helping prep the cot to receive the patient. It takes those things out of the medic's mind and helps them to better tend to the needs of the patient. Plus, if you get to watch talented medics and EMTs at work you become familiar with the processes associated with those certifications and are better prepared, when you finally are able to head down the path of acquiring those certifications.
Anybody that is an expert in EMS Law feel free to correct me, I don't claim to be an expert, I'm just an EMT.
02-22-2010, 08:19 PM #5
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
- Long time no Sea
One thing you might consider, taking the online study course and test to get your NIMS 700a or 701 certification and your ICS 100a certification.
This will be required if you become even just a stand around volunteer now. You get that done now (if they let you), and you make it easier for a volunteer service to install you as a member. Trust me, the next two years are gonna go by so fast you will hardly notice.
02-22-2010, 09:48 PM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
With all due respect, @CGITCH i appreciate your advice, but I have the maturity level's capable of handling such emergencies, i just wish to futher educate myself unlike some firefighters that have the i-know-it-all syndrome. @EFD840 i appreciate your advice, but im not just a "ridealong" my Chief and department treat me with just as much respect as i do them, and im a Asset not a liability, i mean look at "post 53" in CT they are a Ambulance service completly run by teenage volunteer's
02-23-2010, 12:08 AM #7
Ok you are what? a sophomore in high school? Focus on school get good grades. With the inability to test until around 18, it is too early to start a lot of training. With the exception of NIMS, and the ICS junk. Although I applaud your desire, just think about going to an accident scene and it happens to be one of your classmates. Seeing that at age 16 and at age 18 is completely different. You may feel like you are competent and mature enough to handle it, but when it comes down to it you are a kid. Kids (including myself) seem to think that they can do more than they are capable of. They want to be independent and grown up, but the capability isn't quite there. If the department sees your desire to learn, they will help you. I just finished FFI and my instructor told me that I was one of the best in the class, even though I was at least 5 years younger than everyone else. Do I think I am capable of going in and fighting structural fires though? No I do not. Let alone going to an accident scene and seeing somebody I know impaled by a fence post, or pinned by a dash, or ejected from the vehicle with a spinal fracture, a punctured lung, and a few cracked ribs. Am I ready to see that at my age? Doubtful at best. Especially coming from a small town area, which sounds like you do to, where everybody knows everybody. You don't need to put that on yourself to go through that, and possibly change your whole life. Do what you can, don't go beyond your limits.
02-23-2010, 03:02 AM #8
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
Why not ask your chief/Medical Officer/"group of Firefighters/Emt's located in Killen, AL that gives the First Responder Class & test"?
02-23-2010, 04:52 AM #9
Man... I just have to sound off here for a minute...
futurefireman94... and this applies to you also CGITCH.
When I read what you guys write, and I see your enthusiasm, I know the future of the Fire Service will be in good hands. Thank you for reminding me of my own youthful days. I started haunting the fire station at around age 15. I learned everything I could and went whenever I could. But I did not become a true firefighter until I was about 19. In those days the laws were a little more relaxed about guys under 18, but we didn't have the formal training schools that we have today.
One of the toughest calls I ever went on was in fact when one of my buddies flipped his car off a bridge. The car had landed on its top and his head was pinned by the top of the driver door; (1957 Chevy Coupe). He was alert and talking to us as we were trying to figure out how to get him out. And then he just stop talking in the middle of a sentence. I remember how he was looking right at me as he spoke his last words. His eyes were in a fixed stare and I thought he was just thinking about what he wanted to say. That's hard guys... real hard. I don't care how mature or how tough you think you are... if that doesn't get to you, then you must have ice water in your veins.
Guys... a little advice from an old guy that was most likely fighting fires when your dads were in diapers... don't be in a hurry and don't grow up too soon. Today's young people are not too much different than my generation. We all wanted to be an adult before we were ready.
I always told my kids to enjoy being a kid and not grow up to fast. They all are now out on their own and have their own kids, and now they understand what I meant. I'd tell them that they would be my little girl or little boy for just a few short years... then they would be on their own. Time goes by too fast.
I have a 17 year old grandson who has already decided he wants to follow his dad into the fire service. He thinks he is ready because he was born into the fire service and it runs deep in his soul. He thinks that us old guys don't understand the passion that he feels. Trust me... we do. And thanks to guys like you... we will never forget.
Carry on Gentlemen... carry on.HAVE PLAN.............WILL TRAVEL
02-23-2010, 12:02 PM #10
Fire college rules say you've got to be 18 to take certification level courses. The age requirement is actually the first prerequisite listed and as an instructor who has taught many fire college sanctioned courses, I can tell you that they take it quite seriously.
State law further defines what activities are permissible by minors. If your department allows you to operate outside that limited scope, they're breaking child labor laws and at risk of significant fines by the state labor department. And yes, they will indeed fine a volunteer fire department. What happens in Connecticut has no bearing on what is legal in Alabama.
I know it looks like a long way to 18 right now, but I promise you the day will come. Focus on your education. Learn all you legally can about the fire service, and when that day gets here you will be ahead of the game.
02-23-2010, 12:52 PM #11
The National DOT Standard is simply a recommended curricula that defines WHAT a responder can do at each level of certification. Commonly referred to as "Scope of Practice" They do not reference any requirements about WHO can be any of these levels. Also the DOT is a "Standard" not a law (same as NFPA)
Each state law will still define it's own Scope of Practice. Most are very similar to the DOT however states can chose to allow things not in the DOT as well as deny things in the DOT if they choose.
States will also set the criteria for things like Age, Education, and Criminal History for the various provider levels.
Now - as far as Scope of Practice - even with-in a state - each individual Medical Director can further restrict what providers may do. S/He may NOT allow things outside the state Scope of Practice (exceptions are made / granted by law for trials & studies) however.
Clear as Mud so far?
Now in the great Commonwealth (not a state) of Virginia - You can become a First Responder and/or and EMT-Basic at the age of 16.
Virginia Law further requires that the "Attendant-In-Charge" (AIC) on an Ambulance MUST be at least an EMT-B (no FR's) AND they further stipulate that no EMT-B under the age of 18 may function as AIC.
(Funny side note - there is also a law in place which states that in order for me to function as a Paramedic in an Ambulance that I must have an EMT-B (or higher) with me - even if it is the driver. )
To progress and higher up the "food chain" you must be 18 as there are medications and invasive procedures becoming involved.
The "Fire Side" of things is also quite similar.
We can have students who take the FF-I class (including the live burn training) provided that they are 16 years of age before the first day of class AND they have written consent from their Parent/Guardian.
16 y.o. and up are also allowed to function as full members of a volunteer fire fighting organization provided they have a letter of consent on file with the FD from their Parent/Guardian AND they have completed all the requirements for & have become certified at the FF-I level. Each individual department (and their insurance agent) is free to further restrict what they can and can not do.
For the record - I'm not saying it's Right/Wrong or Good/Bad - I'm simply saying those are the rules of the game here and that's what we play by.
Hope that didn't come across as preachy or snotty - it wasn't my intention if it did. Just trying to spread the knowledge a little.Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
02-23-2010, 12:53 PM #12
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
I wish to thank all of you who have posted, your comments have helped me out alot -Cody
P.S. I am already Graduated (i was homeschooled, so i took the Grad Exam's early)
02-23-2010, 02:31 PM #13
This came off a little bit ****y to me. I remember how I was at 16 was a lifegaurd. I thought I could take on the world. At 17 I decided looking into trying to become a Paramedic thought I was mature enough. Ended up going to automotive school instead because I loved working on cars. It took me watching a riding buddy crash into a guard rail on a ride to realize I need to not put off this anymore. I just took my EMT-B and I know if I would have taken that class back when I was 16 I would have never past it. Because I wasn't as mature as I thought I was. Only 21 now. There is a big change an a little amount of time.
If you can take a first responders course go for it learn all you can while your young. But always remember people that are older have been in your shoes at one point. Be humble and respectful in all aspects.RIP Hela
"You have to do better then your best."
BUD's instuctor Class 234
"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
Martin Luther King, Jr
02-23-2010, 06:16 PM #14
Side note, she was discharged the next day and was back to school within two. She should be dead today, but God was watching that day, and the only problems she has now is some minor back pain from hitting the ground after ejection.
02-26-2010, 03:18 AM #15
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
Thanks to all who have posted, i just talked to the director of the First Responder/Emt program, i have enrolled in the First Responder course, And i will attend the class in two weeks, Thanks Again -Cody
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