I currently work as a Firefighter/EMT with a big department in Caifornia. I am interested in joining the Army Reserve. I want to be able to serve my country also being able to work my firefighter job. Does anyone have any experience in this field? (whether its navy, marine, army, etc) Please let me know your thoughts.
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Thread: Civilian Medic to Army Medic
07-02-2010, 08:50 PM #1
Civilian Medic to Army Medic
07-02-2010, 10:01 PM #2
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
The Army Combat Medic and Navy Corpsman are diversely trained medical specialists. Although they routinely do not see the same spectrum of "illness" medical calls as a civilian EMT, they are highly trained trauma specialists. If they have been deployed, their experiences probably rival that of what a metropolitan paramedic might see. Even though they only have NREMT-Basic, they have many skills above that level. They can start IVs, push certain meds and have had trauma treatment drilled into them time and time again.
However, normal drill weekends will be rather mundane. If you have a good unit, you might do training or really "lucky," get to do range support (sit on the firing range with an aid bag and evac vehicle). Expect to be deployed every 3-5 years for about 12-18 months, until the political/military situation changes. There is no direct military equivalent to a paramedic, although you will find a few people that go through the extra training on their own.
If you go through with this, you'll have your basic training (about 9-10 weeks now, I think) plus the medic school. It will be at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. If you are single, it will be an absolute blast. Even if you're not, it can still be a lot of fun. Make sure to take your car and lots of civilian clothes. It's about 16 weeks right now.
Here's the official course description:
This course trains the 68W Health Care Specialist in skills necessary to become an effective soldier and medical care provider. The student receives training in emergency care, evacuation, minor acute care, inpatient and outpatient care, and basic force health protection. The student receives specific training in combat and military operations other-than-war casualty care, tactical combat casualty care, medical care for patients exposed to weapons of mass destruction, (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear - CBRN), deployable medical systems, aircraft and ground evacuation, and casualty triage and processing. The students are certified to the national standards of Emergency Medical Technician-Basic (EMT-B).
Let me know if you have any specific questions. I've been involved either directly in or supervising this MOS (68W) for over 14 years.
09-12-2010, 10:10 PM #3
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- Kansas City, Missouri, USA
I'm national guard, and a civilian ff/p.
I was a firefighter and paramedic before I joined... and I was like you. I wanted to go to war, but didn't want to give up my career. I'm just a lowly E4, so I'm betting zzyyzx could more accurately answer your questions about the big picture. I've been with the 'guard for only a couple years so the only thing I can share is my personal experience.
In a nut-shell... Since I didn't want to give up my civilian career I chose the National Guard vs. going active. I selected the MOS 68W - Medical Specialist with the Army. My department had no problem with me joining up (some might. Talk to your chain of command before you sign up.) After I signed up I worked for a couple more months then took a leave of absence for MEPS and then promptly shipped off for Basic (2008). After basic I went to my AIT (Advanced individual training.)
At AIT in San Antonio I learned what it meant to be an Army Combat Medic. Since I was already a paramedic I "fast tracked" past the EMT-B portion of the training straight to the tactical medic portion.(which virtually cuts the time you spend there in half) Here you will get some of the best trauma management and triage training you will ever receive in your life. There is NOTHING in the civilian field of training that can provide the same scope and diversity that Fort Sam can provide. Some of the mass-casualty scenarios and "blood lab" training environments were amazing, and I had a BLAST. I loved it there. Just stay motivated and ask questions, and you'll do fine. About the cars - we weren't allowed to have ours... it may be different now.
After AIT I reported to my unit... took a couple of weeks to myself... then went back to work like I never left. I drill with my unit once a month, and once a year we attend annual training that lasts two weeks. In the guard you still get the chance to go to Airborn school and get some good education - for example at the end of October I am going to Japan to drill with the Japanese Ground Defense Force for two weeks in the mountains of Osaka.
I am also getting my chance to deploy overseas. I've been selected to go to Afghanistan in a few months.
Now I don't know much about the Navy, but if you have any Army questions, feel free to ask.
09-13-2010, 09:18 AM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
There are many threads on this board that address the various advantages/disadvantages of the different branches when it comes to Fire Protection.
I recommend the AF for this, but you should browse the board to get a broader view.
09-14-2010, 12:19 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
I work DoD fire and am in the ANG as a firefighter as well. I don't know how everyone else feels but I am burned out being a ffer for the ANG. I would recommend (as somebody did to me before I signed up) to choose a field that you don't directly work in normally. I am in the process of changing over to Army guard and getting my commission. I'll probably go with something COMMO or CBRN. Not sure yet.
...just something to think about.
09-16-2010, 12:16 PM #6
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