1. #1
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    Default Questions about Fire/Medic job?

    I'm currently going through the process for a fire/medic job, so far so good, I've got an interview in a couple weeks. My question is this... I've been a volunteer in the fire service for 10 years, learn something new all the time, except medical training. I never had time for EMT school, never needed it really, but if I get this job, I'll be an EMT after the fire academy, and then I'll be rushed right into Paramedic school. I've heard medic school is tough, even for current EMTs, so I'm guessing medic school will be pretty tough for me. I look forward to a paid/career fire position, but I dread working the ambulance. Any ideas, or suggestions, should I suck it up and get my medic, or will I bomb the class since I don't really want to be one? I know the future is coming to this, but a working fire sounds much better than a fall with injury!

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    Being a Paramedic is not as bad as it sounds. If you go into it thinking I just want to ride a truck, and why do I have to be here you probably will not do well in school. Some people do it, and love it. I am a Firefighter II/ Liscensed Paramedic and love every minute of it. Give it a try and you will find that you will enjoy it (hopefully). Good luck in your schooling/possible job. Don't forget to study hard no matter what subject it is (Fire Academy, EMT-B, or EMT-P).
    Adam

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    Truthfully taking your EMT has never been a priority. There is always time to make room for things that are important to us.

    If you are serious about becomming a firefighter you will become an EMT. Afterall 90% of the calls we go on are medical aids. Why not be the best prepared?

    It will also make you MUCH more marketable as a firefighter candidate.

    I am still certified as a paramedic as well as an EMT and Paramedic instructor. Don't let anyone kid you. Going through Paramedic without the benefit of being and EMT (not to mention not having EMT experience) is a HUGE endeavor. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you really have your work cut out for you.

    Lastly, if I am the fire chief and have the choice of hiring someone who is an EMT versus one who is not you can imagine who I would hire.

    We hire people who we believe will be successful. The road you are describing is a very long one. The candidate who has his EMT and some experience will most likely fare better than the one who does not.

    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief

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    like you I had no interest in the medical side of the fire service. That was until my first semester of my fire science degree when the EMT class happend to give me a better schedule (lets face it as a full time college student its all about a good schedule :-) ). I approached the class with an open mind and I found that I really enjoyed it. Now three years after finishing I have gone on to become an EMT-Intermediate.
    FF II, EMT-P, Hazmat Tech

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    If you want to be a FF, you have to be an EMT of some level. I have yet to find a department that EVERY firefighter is atleast an EMT-B and not by choice, by requirement. I would join up with the local rescue squad and run as an assistant. I assume you have first aid/cpr? That way you'll have alittle experience before classes and you may even end up liking it.

  6. #6
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    This opinion often gets me in trouble, but EMS is the not-too-distant past, present and future of the modern fire service. Those departments that have not embraced EMS as at least a First Responder, if not transport, level are finding themselves more and more difficult to sustain. EMT really is the standard for newly hired firefighters these days.

    In some ways, yes, ALS school will be easier, since all the BLS info will be fresh in your head, but in many ways it will be more difficult, because you will not have the field knowledge and experience as a Basic EMT provider.

    In my experience, it is often the case that those who go directly to I or P without any riding time as an EMT, forget the basics and go directly to their 'Super ALS' skills. What I speak of is thinking intubation before good BVM, drugs before CPR and IV before direct pressure, pressure points and elevation.

    As my paramedic instructor told us, "A Paramedic is a Master EMT".
    Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

    "It's okay to to scared, just don't be chicken." - Clark

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    I really appreciate the different opinions you folks have given me. I realize a fire dept these days involves more medical training than one thinks, but I guess learning the skills is entirely up to me. Throughout my 12 years being a firefighter, I was the one worried about fire suppresion, haz-mat, rescue, I looked at my emts to assist the patients. I guess I've gotten used to being the fireman, but if this job works out, I'm hoping I can learn the medic skills and fall back on my years of fire service when I need it. Thanks.

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