1. #26
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Sunny South Florida


    Quote Originally Posted by paulLepore View Post
    We pay a firefighter 75K (on the west coast).

    I have to pay his salary while he is in school for 6 months. I have to pay time and one half to fill his spot while he is in school. The cost of school is 10K and there is NO guarantee that he will make it. Here is the breakdown.

    Firefighter in school for 6 months - $37,500
    Overtime for firefighter in school - $56,500
    Tuition for Paramedic school - $10,000
    Total $103,000
    These are "real" numbers for us on the West coast. I understand that these costs are higher than in most parts of the country.
    Wow, now I understand. We do it a whole lot differently here. Our dept sends people to the Community College for medic school. The college runs their classes on a firefighter shift schedule, so if your on "A" shift then you go to school on "B" and "C" shift, not on duty. It creates no overtime. The class is also a year long which allows means they don't have school every day during the week, I imagine your guys go mon-fri if its a 6 month class. So the only thing our dept pays for is tuition and books, around $5k.
    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.


  2. #27
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2003


    The program your agency is associated with is absolutely more cost sensitive. There is nothing like that to my knowledge here in LA/Orange County. If there is, it's not being used by the fire department. I hate to say it, but there would probably be too great of push back from the unions.
    As it stands now, many department cannot get firefighters to volunteer to go to school and have to FORCE firefighters to go to school.

    Many smaller departments require a paramedic license as a minimum requirement to take the entry level exam. In essence, this saves the department 100K per hiree. This also causes a rub with the union a sthe firefighters who want to go to paramedic school are being "denied" the opportunity to go to school.

    Mike is right on with his post. The view of a paramedic is changing. Cities are viewing mortality rates and it si not necessarily showing that paramedics make a difference. Sounds counterintuitive, but the data certainly questions whether or not having paramedics really does make a difference. The high cost of the delivery system is what is raising the question.

    As a general rule here on the west coast, the departments with a firefighter medic program pay much higher wages and have better benefit packages and equipment than those who are simply EMT responders. The paramedic program has saved the fire department in many cities.

    I believe cities are beginning to rethink the logic of spending 70% of the city or county's dollars on public safety (90% going for salary and benefits).
    Here in Orange County, the EMS agency recently approved one paramedic and one EMT to staff a paramedic transport rig. That was a big eye opener. Stand by, I predict more to follow.

    For the record, I earned my license 25 years ago (boy I sound old) and I still maintain it today. Part of my responsibilities are to run the EMS division. Riding around on a box as a firefighter medic was one of the highlights of my career. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
    Stay safe everyone,
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief

  3. #28
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Oct 2010


    The saddest reply to a thread ever for me...

    Bottom line...No money, no fight whether the service is valid or not.
    As long as the national, state, and local governments find themselves underwater in terms of their financial ability to provide services, they're going to be EXTREMELY receptive to cutting, reducing, or privatizing services. Privatizing is a perceived financial windfall to them when it comes to ALS services because private companies will be offering them personnel reductions, equipment cost reductions, and possibly revenue shares on transport pay. They feel the win all the way around while being able to make a public argument that they're being "fiscally and...socially" responsible since good BLS and rapid transport to definitive care has the lion share of credit for good outcomes to critical patients. Watch out guys...This stuff is just getting started. If things continue to get worse (the most likely scenario), you're going to see some huge reductions in service levels, pay, staffing, etc. Sad but true...If you pay close attention to what is being said at all government levels, we're getting softened up for seriously painful change no matter how strong one's argument is for 4 man engines, two in two out, ALS services, specialty services, etc.

    Paramedics are a luxury in these times. The "national standard" will likely be EMT or EMTI at best in my humble opinion.

    Wish I could honestly say differently...

    Paul C.

  4. #29
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    I'm currently in emt school and I'm already signed up for the fire academy which will start right after emt school and my hope is to get a job with just emt and my ff cert. I have no issue with going to medic school down the road (if it was a requirement) once I'm on the job but it would be tough to sign up for another year of classes without having a job and already working be working for a department. From what I've heard in Florida alot of departments will hire you with just emt and fire but they require medic within 2-3 years.

    On another note I'm assuming most guys don't get the medic cert if not required by their department because the pay raise vs. the full year of school and a ton of clinical time isn't worth it in most peoples eyes.

  5. #30
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Dallas, TX


    In some of the cities around the DFW area, all firefighters are required to become paramedic certified at some point. I tested with Garland, TX last year and was told that if I got on, I would be required to eventually get my paramedic. Other places are just EMT-B I think.

  6. #31
    Firehouse.com Guest


    do any of yalls departments have the tac medic class where the police department uses firefighters for there SWAT team medics and if you do do they require you to be a paramedic or just a EMT-I down here in GA it can Be either just depending on where your at

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