I don't hold a state cert as a firefighter but I've been a paramedic for over six years and 16 years total in EMS. I can say I like firefighting better than EMS.
I've been a FF/PM for 12 years and in the fire/EMS field for about 16, starting as an explorer then a volunteer and finally as a career FF/PM. I love my job but, I've spent 12 years on the nurse wagon (rotating on the engine to ride backwards, drive or acting officer), and I'm ready to be an engine guy. Not that I'm tired of the box but, I'm ready for a new challenge. I have always liked the fire side better.
In my area Paramedic is as close to a golden ticket as there is for getting hired on many FDs. It saves the FD the cost and time of having to send you to school. So whether you like ems or not, if you want to increase your odds of getting hired by a fie department, while be gainfully employed as a med by a private ambulance service, paramedic is the route to go.
As for me, when I got hired being an EMT-Basic was the ticket. Now as I near retirement I am glad that is all it took for me. I am a good EMT, but I much prefer firefighting.
I was hired a year ago in my hometown department, and the easiest way was to keep residency and get my medic card, as residency and a paramedic card count as points. As does service in the military. I worked for a private service in an urban 911 system as a basic for 3 years and a medic for a year prior to being hired.
It all depends in the department your wanting to get on with. Around Atlanta there are some BIG departments that don't even have ambulances. It's contracted out to private services. The city of Atlanta is tho way. So you could be a medic an never see an ambulance. As for my department, we have rescues and if you get your medic, your going to ride it 9 shifts out of 10.. An your going to run 10-15 calls a shift. But you get paid more and it's pretty much garaunteed sergeant.. Because they get tired of cutting out of class checks. Lol