1. #1
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    Default Paramedic school or the academy?

    I'm enrolled in an EMT course right now and I have one of the highest grades in the class. My goal is to be hired by a fire department.

    I was wondering if I should finish up my core classes at Rio Hondo College and get into the academy, or if I should work as an EMT for six months then go to paramedic school.

    I would think paramedic school would give me a better chance at getting a job, and I've heard of people graduating from the academy and never getting a job. There are some problems though.

    If I go to paramedic school I will have no one to support me financially for those six months. A job is out of the question with 40 hours a week dedicated to school, plus much more for studying. While I do live with my mom (20 years old) they don't pay for my living expenses (other than being rent free). Should I save up some money doing EMT and then just go for it?

    During paramedic school will I be able to do other things I love such as surfing or working out? I hear it's pretty intense. It's got me kind of bummed out because this is something I want to do, but I was also looking to move out soon.

    I guess some decisions need to be made. Can you guys help me?

  2. #2
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    Ah the evil side of Paramedic. Paying your way is a pian however I have a lot of friends that did it and worked their way through doing jobs at pizza places, Menards, Home Depot etc etc. Get a job that will work with your schedule and youll have no problem.
    In my neck of the woods most places want you to be paramedic and they will send you to the state school. Hoiwever not every department has the same rules. You have to check what they want on the hiring sheet.
    Working out and fun? Its possible just buckle down get your homework,study and ride time done and up to date and then use your free time to vent. Youll need it.

  3. #3
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    I graduated from a regional Fire accademy with EMT-B and haven't been able to find a fire job yet. All the departments around where I live (Kansas City) are mainly hiring Paramedics as they are changing over to running ALS apparatus.

    I have enrolled and am paying my way through a Paramedic program thinking EMS might be the best way to get my food in the door to fighting fire. I graduate from medic school in May of 07. Untill then it looks like I'm stuck working as a FF1/2, HAZ-MAT Tech, EMT-B trained mechanic at a ford dealership. :I

  4. #4
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    Default Get Some Experience

    MondoMarcus wrote:
    >I'm enrolled in an EMT course right now and I have one of the highest grades in the class. My goal is to be hired by a fire department.

    >I was wondering if I should finish up my core classes at Rio Hondo College and get into the academy, or if I should work as an EMT for six months then go to paramedic school.


    Congratulations on doing well in your EMT class, but before you go jumping into a medic class you should get some time on the street as an EMT.

    There's a saying you'll hear ad-nauseum in medic class when you do take it, and that's "BLS before ALS." And you can't do that well if you haven't had a chance to practice your BLS skills in the real world. Most medic schools worth a damn won't even consider you if you haven't had at least a year on the street. And any that will take you when the ink is still wet on your first EMT-B card is just a diploma mill you probably want to stay away from anyway.



    >I would think paramedic school would give me a better chance at getting a job, and I've heard of people graduating from the academy and never getting a job. There are some problems though.

    You're right, medics are in demand. Plus, you're qualified to take any job if you have your medic, even those that only require a Basic cert. That certainly opens up your options.


    >If I go to paramedic school I will have no one to support me financially for those six months. A job is out of the question with 40 hours a week dedicated to school, plus much more for studying. While I do live with my mom (20 years old) they don't pay for my living expenses (other than being rent free). Should I save up some money doing EMT and then just go for it?

    Ummm. Sounds like you do have someone supporting you. Try adding up the cost of an apartment, food, electricity, heat, water, laundry, phone, cable, etc. You're being supported pretty well, consider yourself damn lucky and give your mom a hug and a big thank you tonight. What you really mean is that you won't have a lot of money to party, go to bars, and drink beer. If you really want to be a firefighter, you'll just have to suck it up.

    Who says you can't work and go to medic school. It's done all the time. Is it easy? No. Few things in life are. But if this is something you really want, you should be willing to put up with a little less sleep.

    Heck, why not get a job on an ambulance so you can actually see a real patient and try out those BLS skills while you're in school? It will teach you how to interact with patients, how to interview them, how to treat them compassionately, how to assess them AND their environment.

    >During paramedic school will I be able to do other things I love such as surfing or working out? I hear it's pretty intense. It's got me kind of bummed out because this is something I want to do, but I was also looking to move out soon.

    You need to decide what you want to do. Surfer dude or firefighter? If you want to hang on the beach and lift weights, fine. No one can fault you for that, it's an attractive lifestyle. But if you want to be a firefighter, you have to be willing to make a committment to doing the things you need to do to get hired. And that means putting your surfboard away for a while, getting a job to give you some real-world experience, putting the effort into schools, and appreciating the fact that your mom is letting you live at home for free while you do all that.

  5. #5
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    A: Do it, my regret is not doing it earlier

    B: Get street experience beforehand 6mos minimum 1 year would be great, find a busy private ambo to run with

    C: Become medic, continue working as medic in private/pulbic ambo until hired as a PFR on a depatment.

    Remember busy is good, a decent call volume in a private ambo (911 based) will teach you a lot, and you should see a good variety of calls. In 6mos, I've had everything from shootings/stabbings, simple batteries to mega ones, PNB's, arrests, MVA's, child births, name it...I've seen a ton of things, and have gained a ton of experience. Private ambo's tend to be money hungry punks, but the experience is well worth it's weight in gold. You need to be a great basic before you can be a mediocre paramedic.
    FF/NREMT-B

    FTM-PTB!!

    Brass does not equal brains.

    Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to control it.

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