1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Astoria, Oregon, USA

    Unhappy EMT-B not Good Enough?!?!?!

    It has become very apparent to me that being an EMT-Basic isn't good enough anymore when trying to apply for a Career Firefighter or other Public Service job! Is there such a thing as a Firefighter any more or is being just a Firefighter becoming history. I understand budgets and things and consolidating crews to cross train is very smart, but just because your not a Paramedic, does that automaticlly disqualify you from becoming a Career Firefighter. I hope somebody can give me an answer and cool me down. Thanks for reading my question.
    James Bingham
    Lewis & Clark Fire District
    Astoria Oregon

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    See my answer here


  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Oct 2002



    I too once wondered if there were still departments that still hired "Just Firefighters". I hated the idea of going to school for one more thing. That is until I ran my first call with the fire department. I bet you can guess what kind of call that was. Yep, a medical call.

    Fire departments nationally have done such a great job of fire prevention, and with buildings and homes being constructed so much safely, (with those dreadful fire alarms that wake you at 0300 hrs., the wonderful sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, state and local fire regulations, OSHA regulations, and Fire Companies doing regular fire inspections, not to mention the numerous other roles the title of FIREFIGHTER carries), that we are not called upon for those typical fires and rescue situations of days past nearly as often.

    However, we still need to maintain a strong operational force for those times when the public needs the service we are trained to provide. That same public is growing in leaps and bounds. So, to meet this growth, we too must keep growing. But with this world becoming a much safer place than it used to be, we as public servants must take on added responsibilities (i.e. EMS calls). Most fire departments have taken on this new role, and rightfully so due to the fact that most fire departments run far more EMS calls than fire calls. And I think we have done an excellent job providing the citizens we serve with excellent prehospital care as First Responders, as EMT's, and as PARAMEDICS.

    I don't bring you news that will "cool you down". In fact, this is probably going to get worse…… or better, depending on how you view things. Paramedics are on their way in, just like First Responders were 30 years ago, and EMT’s were 20 years ago. View this as an opportunity, not a hurdle. My advice to you........ Go to school. Educate yourself. Be prepared to offer the fire department a firefighter who takes his job seriously, who is willing to go the distance with what the department needs, and who sees the future for what it will be, not what it used to be.

    Finally, ask yourself this, if you needed emergency medical attention (you may one day), who would you want there? Someone who was forced to go to school so he could get or keep his job, or someone who wants to be there because he loves his job? Remember my first call I wrote about. I had an epiphany on that call. I realized why we were carrying the title of EMT (and why we will all eventually be Paramedics). That guy needed our help bad, and we're in the business of helping. “Why us?”, you might ask. Because, we're good at helping, we’re the right people for it, and most of us love to do it. I say, “Why not us”?

    I wish you luck!
    Sometimes There Are Bigger Hands At Work

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