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  1. #1001
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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    I agree that A&P w/ lab ought to be required, but mandating NAS 150 and HLT 250 at the minimum is better than a lot of programs across the country. Many P programs run from 6-9 months, such as Lowcountry EMS in Charleston SC, for example. Or, you could go from zero to hero in 3 1/2 months:

    http://www.teex.org/teex.cfm?pageid=...&Course=EMS135

    I think they're what the Houston FD uses. I'd like to see what LA City puts their people through. They aren't even allowed to read 12's!

    Many of these tech schools have no college pre reqs, only an in house two week A&P "for EMS," and a one week "30 medication Pharm for EMS," so even having the bare bones basices of NAS 150 and HLT 250 puts you way ahead of most of the programs in the country to begin with.

    As an aside, IMO, anywhere outside of NYC or another system where medics don't run BLS such as injuries, MVA's, sick jobs, abd pain, EDP's, single Sz, intox w/o AMS and such, the student isn't going to get much out of their ride alongs. I used to get 2-3 good ALS jobs (pushing multiple meds, altered APE or critical asthmatic, MI > cardiogenic shock, dropping tubes, etc.) per 8 hour shift for my ride alongs, and also when I hit the street. Here, I may see a good job or two every month, and we work a 56 hour week. As such, any system that has an all-ALS EMS deployment is not the place to be if you want to be an aggressive medic. We have all the resources we need to do our jobb well, but I wouldn't be 1/10 the medic I am if I didn't have the urban tiered ALS experience.
    Last paragraph of your post is pure truth, good stuff.

    And yes, the program could be much worse. Compared to some of the medic mills that you mentioned it may as well be Harvard. Come on though, no 12 lead course?!? I have no idea why they dont teach 12 leads since its within the scope of I's and P's. I dont think thats a topic that should be self taught.


  2. #1002
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xan View Post
    edpmedic,

    Can you talk a bit about the Fairfax County FRD ALS internship for new hires. How long is it? Does probation start during the internship? Is it similar to internship for medic school (at least mine)? All eyes on you, nobody is going to do anything unless you direct them to, getting drilled on protocols. How soon are you expected to know the protocols like the back of your hand?
    Are you still training in suppression during the internship?

    Thanks.
    The process has changed a few times over the past four years. The 125th - 127th did six to seven weeks in the academy for orientation and alphabet cards, then 16 weeks in the field. This was the ALS internship, which was three 12 hour days and four hours every Friday at the Tyson's EMS training facility. The training is call review, a review on each subject (cardiac one day, resp, trauma, OB, etc), protocol review, and testing on said protocols that includes scenario based training with Sim-Man, with a living room replica or an ambulance replica. The written is pass or fail, as is each scenario. People do fail out.

    After that 16 weeks, the medics join the basics for suppression, who were doing their orientation and EMT original during the latter part of the ALS internship. Suppression was 16 weeks at tht point. The total recruit time for medics was about nine months.

    The 129th did their fire training first, then their entire internship afterward. The medics in the 128th were 1/2 the old way, and 1/2 the new way IIRC.

    Starting with the 129th or 130th (I'm not sure) the ALS interns did all of their fire training, then were assigned to 24 hour shift work for a six month internship, 100% on the ambulance with an EMS Lt. With the 130th, the medics ride third on the bus, all eyes on them, getting drilled like you say, etc. for only two months, then they're cleared to drive, where it's only them and the Lt. Previously, they were third on the medic and were in the back all the time for six months. We think this two month deal was a cost saving measure at the expense of proper training.

    After the six months is up, the FF/medic can ride on the engine as a medic or a PTU (double medeic unit w/officer). With the 125th-127th, after the fire academy, we were able to do that right away, having already done the internship.

    After a year out of fire school, the FF/medic will train to be an ALS lead, where they can ride the one and one (medic/EMT) bus.

    Almost forgot, during that post academy internship on 24 hour shift work, the ALS interns go to Tysons for four hours every Friday, as before. If it's on a scheduled work day, you're detailed out until you get back. If it's an off day, it's OT.

    If any of the above is inaccurate, feel free to correct me.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  3. #1003
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    Quote Originally Posted by OuchThatHurts View Post
    Last paragraph of your post is pure truth, good stuff.

    And yes, the program could be much worse. Compared to some of the medic mills that you mentioned it may as well be Harvard. Come on though, no 12 lead course?!? I have no idea why they dont teach 12 leads since its within the scope of I's and P's. I dont think thats a topic that should be self taught.
    I'm sure they're exposed to 12's in medic school, but in most places, they only spend a couple of days on it. At least in a good EMS AAS class, an entire course will be devoted to 12's. In LA, they're known to be so poor at reading 12's, that they just transmit and do whatever OLMC advises.

    Also, getting back to NVCC, their short staffing isn't too difficult to figure out - we received an e-mail the other day asking for skills evaluators for their NR-P cert. They offered $20/hr plus lunch. I would assume that instructors get a similar wage. Not too bad, except that my OT is not too far off from $40/hr. When you factor in the FLSA 212 hour threshold, if I do OT earlier in the pay period, I'm getting an extra 1/2 hour's pay for each hour worked as well. Most of the FF/medics in neighboring depts are making well over $20/hr in OT, and can get more hours than the school offers. In addition, many of us live outside of Fairfax, and the MEC is in Springfield, so the distance and traffic is prohibitive. We could do probably 8-16 hours at NVCC a week if we're lucky, but I only have to make one trip for 24 hours of OT, or the same money for one trip at 12 hrs OT. NVCC may require professional Healthcare degrees to ba qualified to teach, and most medics don't have that.

    Same problem in nursing - the schools don't pay educators well, so nurses can make much more in the field, especially on a per diem basis. This is why nursing schools refuse to be flexible with clinical times, or offer flip flop schedules for students that do shift work.
    Last edited by edpmedic; 11-09-2011 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Extra sentence, not needed
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  4. #1004
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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    The process has changed a few times over the past four years. The 125th - 127th did six to seven weeks in the academy for orientation and alphabet cards, then 16 weeks in the field. This was the ALS internship, which was three 12 hour days and four hours every Friday at the Tyson's EMS training facility. The training is call review, a review on each subject (cardiac one day, resp, trauma, OB, etc), protocol review, and testing on said protocols that includes scenario based training with Sim-Man, with a living room replica or an ambulance replica. The written is pass or fail, as is each scenario. People do fail out.

    After that 16 weeks, the medics join the basics for suppression, who were doing their orientation and EMT original during the latter part of the ALS internship. Suppression was 16 weeks at tht point. The total recruit time for medics was about nine months.

    The 129th did their fire training first, then their entire internship afterward. The medics in the 128th were 1/2 the old way, and 1/2 the new way IIRC.

    Starting with the 129th or 130th (I'm not sure) the ALS interns did all of their fire training, then were assigned to 24 hour shift work for a six month internship, 100% on the ambulance with an EMS Lt. With the 130th, the medics ride third on the bus, all eyes on them, getting drilled like you say, etc. for only two months, then they're cleared to drive, where it's only them and the Lt. Previously, they were third on the medic and were in the back all the time for six months. We think this two month deal was a cost saving measure at the expense of proper training.

    After the six months is up, the FF/medic can ride on the engine as a medic or a PTU (double medeic unit w/officer). With the 125th-127th, after the fire academy, we were able to do that right away, having already done the internship.

    After a year out of fire school, the FF/medic will train to be an ALS lead, where they can ride the one and one (medic/EMT) bus.

    Almost forgot, during that post academy internship on 24 hour shift work, the ALS interns go to Tysons for four hours every Friday, as before. If it's on a scheduled work day, you're detailed out until you get back. If it's an off day, it's OT.

    If any of the above is inaccurate, feel free to correct me.
    Thanks for the info! Does probation start during the internship or do you still have a year of probation after that? During the internship, are you training in suppression with other crews?

  5. #1005
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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    I'm sure they're exposed to 12's in medic school, but in most places, they only spend a couple of days on it. At least in a good EMS AAS class, an entire course will be devoted to 12's. In LA, they're known to be so poor at reading 12's, that they just transmit and do whatever OLMC advises.

    Also, getting back to NVCC, their short staffing isn't too difficult to figure out - we received an e-mail the other day asking for skills evaluators for their NR-P cert. They offered $20/hr plus lunch. I would assume that instructors get a similar wage. Not too bad, except that my OT is not too far off from $40/hr. When you factor in the FLSA 212 hour threshold, if I do OT earlier in the pay period, I'm getting an extra 1/2 hour's pay for each hour worked as well. Most of the FF/medics in neighboring depts are making well over $20/hr in OT, and can get more hours than the school offers. In addition, many of us live outside of Fairfax, and the MEC is in Springfield, so the distance and traffic is prohibitive. We could do probably 8-16 hours at NVCC a week if we're lucky, but I only have to make one trip for 24 hours of OT, or the same money for one trip at 12 hrs OT. NVCC may require professional Healthcare degrees to ba qualified to teach, and most medics don't have that.

    Same problem in nursing - the schools don't pay educators well, so nurses can make much more in the field, especially on a per diem basis. This is why nursing schools refuse to be flexible with clinical times, or offer flip flop schedules for students that do shift work.

    We have the same problem in nursing. They
    I went through NVCC's program and unfortunately there was very little exposure to 12 leads. We had 1 lecture on them! It was basically just to show us how to identify a STEMI. I suppose we are still better off than the medics in LA that you mentioned.

    Im pretty sure you are right about the pay being low for the instructors, some of them were not shy about voicing their displeasure at the low pay to the students. They have a few core teachers who do the lecturing, and then adjunct instructors (medics) from the surrounding counties come in to help out with the labs.

    I suppose im just being picky, but i expected a little more from a degree program.

  6. #1006
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    Quote Originally Posted by OuchThatHurts View Post
    I went through NVCC's program and unfortunately there was very little exposure to 12 leads. We had 1 lecture on them! It was basically just to show us how to identify a STEMI. I suppose we are still better off than the medics in LA that you mentioned.

    Im pretty sure you are right about the pay being low for the instructors, some of them were not shy about voicing their displeasure at the low pay to the students. They have a few core teachers who do the lecturing, and then adjunct instructors (medics) from the surrounding counties come in to help out with the labs.

    I suppose im just being picky, but i expected a little more from a degree program.
    One lecture? I'm sure you're right. It's just that when I was looking over the curriculum, 12 leads were showing as a credit or two, as it's own class. This explains why our EMT-I graduates are consistently weak at reading 12's. I thought it was just from not having exposure to many field 12's, but it seems like the knowledge base isn't there to begin with. My Paramedic original spent a week on 12 leads, and covered the basics including reciprocal changes, false positives such as early repolarization and LVH for example, and electrolyte abnormalities. I suppose expecting recent graduates to diagnose STEMI's in LBB or paced rhythms using Modified Sgarbossa's Criteria (Discordance > 0.3 of the height/depth of the terminal QRS deflection, or T-wave concordance) would be just a little bit over their heads.

    Matter of fact, here's an excellent resource that teaches all about 12's, as well as other gems such as false pacer capture, how to eliminate articfact in the ambulance, STEMI mimics, etc:

    http://ems12lead.com/

    In my dealings with INOVA Fairfax, I've spoken with several ER Attendings regarding STEMI Team activations. I'm told that we have to identify it ourselves, and the machine also needs to read "Acute MI" or whatever it says in order to activate the lab (We don't currently transmit, although we could take cell phone pictures, as ghetto as it sounds). I was told point blank that they don't trust our proficiency as a department with 12 leads. It can also be expensive to activate on call overnight personnel for false positives. I haven't had this problem with Alexandria or Reston, though.

    I don't feel that you're being picky. EMS in the U.S. is a joke system. We're paid by mileage and call type rather than by skill hours like other medical professionals. That TEEX program is only 3 - 3 1/2 months, and you can treat patients anywhere as an EMT with only 110 hours of "education." The barrier of entry is quite low. In other countries, such as Canada and Australia, medics typically hold four year degrees, and go through a lengthy internship process to be able to practice. Even then, they're restricted in certain interventions, which are reserved for a core group of elite paramedics with additional education and experience.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xan View Post
    Thanks for the info! Does probation start during the internship or do you still have a year of probation after that? During the internship, are you training in suppression with other crews?
    I think the probie year starts after the internship, but I'm not sure. I'll ask. It took us 21 months from my hire date to get made. During the internship, you'll be on the ambulance all the time (the first six months), but you'll be included for regularly scheduled out of service suppression drills as well as in station company ops. You'll have a suppression "probie manual" that you'll be required to do after the internship is over. There are objectives every month for you to hit.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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    That website is awesome, thanks.

    The current NVCC curriculum just has the "Basic ECG Recognition" class. It was a pretty interesting class, our teacher (Dr. Newell) did a great job teaching us 4 leads. But for some reason its only an 8 week course, no time for 12 leads in that short of a time period.

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    I have a couple of questions for the fairfax county firefighter/EMT position. Hopefully some you guys can help me out?

    First do you need to be an EMT to take part in this upcoming test?

    Second, Im not from Virginia and i was wondering how Fairfax county department is? Meaning is it a good department to work for? ETC. I recently applied for Arlington Virginia but i did not get selected and I kinda liked the area down there

    Third if you do get selected do they make you go get your ALS and become a paramedic?



    Fairfax county application process is going on now for firefighter/EMT does anyone know

  10. #1010
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyebrowike View Post
    I have a couple of questions for the fairfax county firefighter/EMT position. Hopefully some you guys can help me out?

    First do you need to be an EMT to take part in this upcoming test?

    Second, Im not from Virginia and i was wondering how Fairfax county department is? Meaning is it a good department to work for? ETC. I recently applied for Arlington Virginia but i did not get selected and I kinda liked the area down there

    Third if you do get selected do they make you go get your ALS and become a paramedic?



    Fairfax county application process is going on now for firefighter/EMT does anyone know
    No EMT cert necessary. Average 56 hour workweek. No residency requirement, so you can live in Arlington if you can afford it. The average Fairfax employee likes working in the FD, but it's not very exciting if you were to compare it to an urban department. Not many fires, cut jobs, etc. The pay and job security are decent. If you're a medic, your career options are more restricted than if you are not a medic. For example, medics will generally get passed over for specialty schools such as TROT and Hazmat. The last two schools have attested to that. Medics cannot ride Truck companies; their services "are needed elsewhere." As a non medic, you should be fine.

    There is no requirement to become a medic after joining the department, at all. In fact, medics can drop their cert if they've promoted out of a position that requires it, such as a Lt, or a Hazmat/TROT Tech (which explains why virtually no medics were selected for these classes). There was some talk about trying to become an all ALS department, but apparently admin came to their senses, so this idea was discarded.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

  11. #1011
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    edpmedic, I sent you a PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edpmedic View Post
    No EMT cert necessary. Average 56 hour workweek. No residency requirement, so you can live in Arlington if you can afford it. The average Fairfax employee likes working in the FD, but it's not very exciting if you were to compare it to an urban department. Not many fires, cut jobs, etc. The pay and job security are decent. If you're a medic, your career options are more restricted than if you are not a medic. For example, medics will generally get passed over for specialty schools such as TROT and Hazmat. The last two schools have attested to that. Medics cannot ride Truck companies; their services "are needed elsewhere." As a non medic, you should be fine.

    There is no requirement to become a medic after joining the department, at all. In fact, medics can drop their cert if they've promoted out of a position that requires it, such as a Lt, or a Hazmat/TROT Tech (which explains why virtually no medics were selected for these classes). There was some talk about trying to become an all ALS department, but apparently admin came to their senses, so this idea was discarded.



    Thanks for the info edpmedic!

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    W/M Paramedic here with volunteer FF experience. I started the process June 2010 as an EMT, taking I/P class concurrently. After I finished up my Paramedic in July 2011, I notified the Captain. She scheduled me for my polygraph (which I had to do twice, there were some "anomalies" the first time around), got through the psych exam, and just got my complete letter in the mail on October 26th.

    Looks like I missed selection for the 133rd class, but I'm shooting for the 134th (October 2012??). Is this reasonable? Does anyone know how many medics/paramedics are complete? Anything I can be doing in the mean time besides keeping my skills/knowledge up and staying fit? Does taking the polygraph twice hinder my chances?

    Congrats to the 133rd hires!
    Last edited by Asclepius; 11-11-2011 at 04:57 AM. Reason: grammar

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    It looks like I did not get into the latest recruit class as well, I noticed that the application process is back open until nov 18th and was wondering if I should submit another application and go through the process again ?

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    If you have completed all the hiring process, your completed file goes on an eligible list for up to 2 years. You should have gotten a process completion letter that shows your completion date. Your file will be in the eligible candidate list for up to 2 years from that date. There's no need to reapply unless your file has expired.

    I assume you are applying for Firefighter/EMT since November 18th deadline is for the Firefighter/EMT. They just started to hire people off of past Firefighter/EMT eligibility list from almost 2 years ago. So if you have just completed the hiring process for Firefighter/EMT, more than likely it will be a looooong time before you are even considered for the upcoming academy. However, if you are applying for Firefighter/Medic, the wait seems to be much shorter. Then again, the difference is that Medics put in their time for their certifications and us normal people didn't.

    In the mean time, BE PATIENT, keep yourself busy, hope for the best! If your heart is set on becoming a career firefighter/EMT/Medic, keep applying around neighboring department to increase your chance of getting hired.
    Last edited by Suppressor; 11-11-2011 at 07:35 PM. Reason: It was too long.

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    Sounds good sir in the mean time should I contuniue to update my file with fairfax recruitment as I obtain more certifications ?

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    Always update them about certificates or anything that seems favorable to you (degrees or joining a volunteer dept for example). Only thing that count on the paper is your Medic certification. However, your other certification or record will be counted subjectively when your file is looked upon. It doesn't play a clear role as a medic certification, but it can be used as a persuasion tool for you. It's a tool that can be used favorably in judging your character for the people who's responsible for reviewing your file and making recommendations.

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    Default Looking for info

    Hello friends,

    I'm a career FF/Medic for a shoreline town in CT. Were 32 men strong divided up among 4 divisions that work 24/72. We run about 3300 calls per year, me being assigned to a 2 man engine company run only 2 calls in a 24 hour period while the Heavy Rescue with a Capt and 2FF run all the medicals/service calls. Cricket cricket, some people may be about that. No this guy! I have always been interested in MD, VA, and FL. I recently saw that Fairfax was taking apps for FF/Medic and I bit bullet and put in an app online this past sunday night. I know one person from a volunteer town near my dept that has made it through the process and is waiting for a call.

    Id like to find more out about the process, what each entails, whats the time line and chain of events.
    -Does the county accept CPAT for other states?
    -How much does the poly weigh score wise?
    -How Long is rookie school? and is it a live in school?
    -Whats the retirement look like?
    -Does VA accept any of CTs Certs Fire Instructor/Officer/Rescue Tech?
    -Any relocation assistance?
    -Stipends?
    A copy of the contract may answer the questions I have if thats feasable.
    To say the least I'm very excited to have a chance to be part of something big. From my research thus far the county looks A+++. Thank you for your help in advance.

    Matt

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    I got the call this morning for the Feb. 27 start. I thought they had finished making calls a few weeks ago and had already given up on this class. I am thrilled that I was wrong.

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    I counted 29 on the e-mail list, I guess you're the 30th! Congratulation!
    either that or you're the 29th and there's still one more slot open!
    Last edited by Suppressor; 11-18-2011 at 08:39 PM.

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