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    Question alabama volunteer in a paid dept.

    I have a question about being a volunteer in a paid dept. I am currently getting my paramedic and wanted to voluteer for one of the local paid departments so I could get a leg up when it came time for them to hire. But I was told that a volunteer in a paid department was considered an explorer and would not get awhole lot of hands on training or experience. Although I would like to have an advantage when it came to hiring I don't want to miss out on the training I might get at an all volunteer department. Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Try a internship through a local trade or tech school.

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    R.I.P K.Apuzzio 4/11/06
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    Quote Originally Posted by parrotheadgw01
    I have a question about being a volunteer in a paid dept. I am currently getting my paramedic and wanted to voluteer for one of the local paid departments so I could get a leg up when it came time for them to hire. But I was told that a volunteer in a paid department was considered an explorer and would not get awhole lot of hands on training or experience. Although I would like to have an advantage when it came to hiring I don't want to miss out on the training I might get at an all volunteer department. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Being a medic is going to be a terrific advantage for you over other candidates anywhere you want to get hired; so hats off to you for getting that. As far as volunteering I think you are looking at two different scenarios. If you volunteer to assist the paid department chances are you won't, as you pointed out, get much hands on field experience, you will however have a chance to get to know some people in the department and build relationships as well as show initiative for being involved. This of course could be a good thing if you hit it off with members of the department. On the flip side if you goof up or don't get along well it could be a nail in your coffin.

    Volunteering at a department that isn't paid to gain experience and put what you're learning to use is the other way to go. This may give you more hands on training and build your experience level so that you can confirm this is something you want to do and allow you to gain confidence with your skills.

    Both choices here can provide you with benefits, you have to decide which benefits you feel will help you more in the hiring process.

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    I would think volunteering at an all vollie dept or maybe a combo dept will get you the most field experience. Plus alot of vollie departments (such as mine) can seriously benefit from someone with more medical training. Something else to note is that alot of times, you will find paid guys working with the volunteer dept's since they live in the area or something. That will help you get to know the paid depts in your area as well.

    Out of curiosity, where are you located?

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    I started out as a volunteer with the department I currently work for. Our department does not look at volunteers as explorers. They look at them as tremendus assests. When the time comes to go full time not only wil you have a leg up, but the department you volunteer for will most likely want to bring you on full time. Just look at it this way if you volunteer for 3 years you will be familiar with the day to day operations of that department. You will also know people there.

    My advice to you is do not listen to the people that think volunteering is like being an explorer. Volunteering will help you take it to the next level when the time comes.

    Good luck

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