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  1. #1
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    Default emt? or Paramedic? Firefighters

    do you think it is better to be a firefighter/EMT or a firefighter/EMTP?? i'm 17 and i start my EMT class on monday and then i want to get my paramedic but is it worth the money? and time? what arew your opinions?
    there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer!!


  2. #2
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    Smile going the extra mile never hurts...

    Depending on what your plans are regarding the fire service, I would think having the EMT-P can only help you if you are going for a career.

  3. #3
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    Default career

    ok let me redress my question. if ff is going to be my career it might as well it's my life and i wouldn't have it any other way. so would it be better to be a ff/emt or a ff/emtp?
    there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer!!

  4. #4
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    Default

    In my area, Paramedic-level EMS is the exception rather than the rule. So, it won't get you very far around here. And yet it's a must in other places. I'd research your area- or the areas you might wind up in- before shelling out for the class.

  5. #5
    55 Years & Still Rolling hwoods's Avatar
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    Post Interesting Question......

    The question you have to ask FIRST is where do you want to work? Some departments require all new hires to be (or become, in a restricted time frame)Paramedics. Other departments do not concern themselves with EMS training at all. Look at what will be required of you when you check out job possibilities, If you like what you see, apply. Stay safe....
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  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber jonesy0924's Avatar
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    Red face

    Most departments around where I live require you to be a paramedic when hired or within 2 years...So i think it is smart to be a medic....this is just my two cents but if you pplan on being a medic get some experience as an EMT beforeyou go to medic school....


    Jonesy
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  7. #7
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    Default

    It depends what you want to do with your career. What does the department you want to work for do? How do they run? The department I work for used to run ambulances and paramedics but gave them both up years ago. Now, they are kicking themselves for it. We are trying to get an ambulance back in our firehouses. Right now we run EMT-B First Response Engine Companies. I'm certified to the EMT-Intermediate level because of the Volunteer Department I'm a member of. I'm VERY limited to what skills I can use in my paid job. I can't use any Intermediate ALS skills until the medics, who don't ride an ambulance arrive. This month the job is going to send some more Firefighters through EMT-I class and get them certified to try and help our cause with the ambulance application process. I'd like to see our companies run as Intermediate First Responders as soon as possible.
    The department who runs our medics for us is a busy department. They also run the majority of our ambulance calls. We have 4 FDs who run ambluances. OFD & RFD (to diferentiate) run paramedics and ambluances. OFD runs 3 medic trucks and 6 ambulances. RFD runs 1 medic truck and 3 ambulances. OFD medics are running 18-20 calls a shift right now. The ambulances are running 10-15 calls a shift. RFD medics are running 8-12 calls a shift and the RFD ambulances are running 6-10 calls a shift. Our engine companies are running 4-8 calls a shift. This is just three of the nearly 10 departments in our County.
    What I'm getting at, is if you want to be busy, running a good amount of "good" calls, you should go to medic school. If you want to run calls, transports and taxi cab rides, stick to being an EMT. If you don't really want to ride an ambulance and don't have any ALS Engine companies in the department you want to work for, then stick to being an EMT.
    I'd like to run a bunch of calls, but not at night. Someday I'd like to go to Paramedic school, but with the way things are going now, I'm going to have to find a job with a different department if I want to do that.
    It's a choice you'll have to decide for yourself.

    *Mark
    FTM-PTB-RFB-EGH

  8. #8
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    Default

    In general, the current trend seems to be leaning towards FF/Paramedics in a lot of places and a lot of the others are looking for a minimum of EMT. So depending on where you want to work, the Paramedic cert would provide you the most options.

    However, becoming a Paramedic is not something to rush into. Get your EMT, get some real EMS experience for at least a year (preferably two years) before you try for the Paramedic cert. Make sure it is what you want to do. Being a Paramedic carries a lot of responsibility and is not for everybody.

    Since you're only 17, don't rush yourself. There's plenty of time to find the job that fits you best.
    Mark
    Firefighter / Paramedic
    IAFF Local 10

  9. #9
    Forum Member explr985's Avatar
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    Default Re: emt? or Paramedic? Firefighters

    Originally posted by fireseeker04
    do you think it is better to be a firefighter/EMT or a firefighter/EMTP?? i'm 17 and i start my EMT class on monday and then i want to get my paramedic but is it worth the money? and time? what arew your opinions?

    Does your state have EMT-I? If so I would go for that, because you can do some advanced procedures, but not have all the training hours.
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

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  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber firechick76's Avatar
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    Default

    It really does depend on where you are or where you want to work. I am in the Mid-West and have some friends who just couldnít get positions because they were only MFRís or EMT-Bís. They either had to be paramedics to get hired or become a paramedic in the next 2 years.
    Like some of the others said look at the area you want to work and see what they require. I am taking my Paramedic classes now and it isnít something to rush into. Be sure that itís what you want it is lots of responsibility.

    Stay Safe,
    Janelle
    The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn...

  11. #11
    Forum Member codeblue81's Avatar
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    Default

    We had a similar post in the EMS General Forums.

    Personally I believe that ALL FFs whether paid of vollie should at LEAST be trained to a FR level or even to EMT-B status. Now for the P-medic level is a different story. The cheapest that I've seen a Medic class for in the past year is $1400. Now that's alot of cash to be throwing around if there's a chance that you won't enjoy it. I would recommend taking the Basic and seeing how much you enjoy EMS. If you find that it's rather enjoyable then sure, try to Medic after awhile. But if you just absolutely dislike the EMS field then I wouldn't take the medic. With over $1000 and 1000hrs of clinicals it's alot for work to put in. Just think.....if you dont like something then you're not going to push yourself at it and the EMT-P takes alot of pushing. Just think it over before you sing up for it.

    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

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  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber Medic162's Avatar
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    Default

    All of the responses to your question so far are extremely valid. Your question poses many more questions that only you can answer. I've found that being a paramedic "opens up" a lot of doors that otherwise may be closed. Good example - if you're a Memberzone subscriber you can see the number of job opportunities for Paramedic/Firefighters are numerous all over the country. Another strong benefit is the fact that most departments work 24/48 shifts. This allows you to make some "extra" cash if you so desire, believe me - the hourly wage for paramedic is a far cry from EMT-B no matter where in the country you call home. As stated, many departments nationwide provide ALS level care - and walking in with the gold patch is a plus because that means a given department doesn't have to send you to school. Now the "other" side. As you state, you're just starting your EMT-B course. You may find that EMS is not your bag at all, or perhaps you will realize that you really don't want to shoulder the responsibility that goes with being a paramedic. This is absolutely not saying that you won't be a great provider - but rather you would just be more comfortable operating at the EMT-B level. My advice as many of the other "seasoned" medics here would tell you... Spend a couple years as an EMT-B and get some good street time under your belt with a good medic partner if possible. This should answer many questions for you. Wherever your path leads, I wish you good luck!

  13. #13
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Default Depends on location

    It depends on where you are. In Florida a lot of departments are ALS Non-Transport, meaning they have ALS Engines. Paramedics are rare and firefighter emts are a dime a dozen. If you are a firefighter paramedic in Florida, you can pretty much get a job where ever you want.

    My department on the other hand (in Florida) is not ALS...we are BLS non-transport and therefore there is no interest in Firefighter Paramedics.

    A friend of mine is Deputy Chief in Isle of Capri and they do not require Paramedic or EMT.... You only have to be a first responder.

    So the demand varies depending on location.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  14. #14
    Forum Member FHandz15's Avatar
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    Default

    It completely depends on where you want to work. My dept. only hires medics, as do alot in the mid-west. I spent 5 years in college, got two degrees, and a paramedic license. I've been a medic for 8 years, and I can't wait for the chance to get "promoted" to FF/ EMT status, seems like a step back, but it gets you off the ambo.

    Do what I did, look for a FF / EMT job while you go thru medic school. Either way you will find work eventually.

  15. #15
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default Again...

    Like most have said, it does depend where you want to
    work. BUT, invest a few dollars into a fire jobs website
    and look at the job market trend. Looks like over 90%
    want Firefighter/Paramedic.

    In California, everyone and their dog has an EMT-1 and
    the market is demanding Paramedics. It is well worth
    the investment in your career and job security should
    be important to you. I think it would be the smart move
    since you probably live with your parents and I am sure
    they would help you out.

  16. #16
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Default From Da Man...

    Should you become a paramedic to get a firefighter job?

    If you understand that there are 500-800 candidates
    for each firefighter job, that you could be running
    out of hope, the love of your life is not going to
    wait any longer unless she has a ring and a date,
    been the frequent flyer mileage king flying all over
    the country and unsuccessfully taking tests, your
    biggest income last year came from your credit cards.
    You have lost friends and relatives. Don't know how
    you're going to live without the job of your dreams.
    Can afford to take the time and loss of income to
    make it happen. Have a supporting partner. Know you
    would have to spend about a year getting certified
    and it will be the toughest thing you have ever done.
    A relative will pay for your education. Have GI Bill
    education money. Can get a student loan. Know that 80%
    of the job offerings now are for fire medics and up to
    75% of our calls are ems related anyway. Know that
    even if you become a medic, you still may never get
    this job. Have been riding ambulance anyway and this
    will pave the way into many medic schools. Aren't
    going to take the chance of some college programs
    that only take 35 people a year and receive over
    200 applications. Will step up and pay the $7,000
    plus dollars to be in and out of a program in about
    a year. You're an energizer bunny who will keep
    going and going and going when others' would stop.
    Know that if you were a medic taking a regular
    firefighter entrance test you would probably get
    a better shot. Won't be happy until you can puff
    your chest out with a badge and have people wave
    at you in the jump seats, carrying on a family
    tradition. Want that shift work with great benefits
    that go way into retirement. A career position
    with chances of advancement. The opportunity to
    use the education and experience you have already
    gained and can continue. To work for a department
    that could offer you everything a firefighter could
    hope for. Calls that would cover anything from air
    land and sea. A place where you couldn't wait to
    get back from your days off. Being able to go from
    one call to another to another on a busy rig.
    Believe me there is nothing like it.

    I know you will hear that if you really don't want
    to be a medic don't just do it to get the job. But,
    If you answered yes to the majority of the above
    there is no doubt where you will be the happiest.
    If I were in your position I would beg, borrow,
    and run with my afterburners on to get to medic
    school! Because unlike a regular entry level test
    where there are 500-800 candidates for each job,
    there are only 20 candidates for every fire medic
    job. It is by far your fastest way to the badge.

    "Absolutely Nothing counts until you have a real
    BADGE . . . Nothing!

    "Captain Bob"

  17. #17
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    Default

    Codeblue81

    My Paramedic class when I took it 6 years ago was only $275 plus about $60 for books. The price I saw on last years class still hasn't broken $400 for tuition. I thought it was a pretty good class for the money, they taught you how to be a good field paramedic instead of using it as a pre-med class for future doctors like some other courses out there. The class is run by (CCAC) Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA.
    Mark
    Firefighter / Paramedic
    IAFF Local 10

  18. #18
    Forum Member codeblue81's Avatar
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    Default

    Then I would consider your area VERY lucky. In this area there are two ways to get the EMT-P license. The first is a relatively new concept and that is the AAS in Paramedical Services. It's a 2 years program that starts with the EMT-B and runs straight through to the Medic while also taking prereqs such as A&P, Pharmocology, Math 4 Meds, CompI&II, Public Speaking and the like. The entire program runs in the neighborhood of $4000-$5000. Then you can get your EMT-I99 and go through the 14-16 month hospital based Medic class. I was going to enroll in this calss but felt that I should get more experience. The total cost was $1400 and required a total of 1100 clinical hours.

    Maybe I should move to your area to take it.

    code_blue81
    Jeremy Culver
    IACOJ Bureau of EMS

    These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

    Help our fellow firefighters.
    www.helpingourown.com
    "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"

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