Thread: Need advice (kind of long)
03-14-2008, 02:12 PM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
Need advice (kind of long)
Need some advice/opinions. For about the last year I've been a resident/intern with a small/medium size dept in a fairly rural area. As a resident I live at one of the stations, am assigned to a normal shift, go to the local community college full-time (working towards AS degrees in FS and EMS - Paramedic), which the district pays for. When I'm not at class I'm expected to be at one of the stations working with whatever shift is on. We do get some pay, but because of budget problems it was just cut pretty drastically. I basically have enough to barely pay the bills; sometimes I can't even do that.
I'm not complaining, I love this, even though I'm working my tail off for next to no money, I'm here for the experience and I'm definitely getting it.
The problem is, in this part of the state, all the paid-career positions are at the paramedic level. The honest truth is that I don't want to be a paramedic. I'd like to go to a city anyway. I know that as a medic you can do a lot more than a basic (which I currently am), and that you're truly a lot more hirable (important to me). I've even spoken to some of the firemedics I work with about my concern, and a lot of them have said that they felt the same way, but once they got into the medic program, they found thats its something they really like. They've also said that if given the chance, they would have taken a job as a basic with a bigger dept, instead of doing the medic thing.
So I'm at a loss here. I'm 26, I already have a BA, my EMT basic, some experience, clean record, no skeletons in the closet, and I'M SICK OF BEING BROKE. For me to get my paramedic cert is going to another year and a half of working my *** off. I feel like I've been in school enough, I know this is what I want to do and I'm ready to do it. I can barely afford to travel to the depts. I'd like to test at.
Any one have any advice? I know if I stick it out I can get my P-cert but I don't want to get stuck on a medic somewhe
Just want to ride backwards on a engine or truck.
Sorry for the rambling post, but I'm really at a loss here, so any advice is appreciated
03-14-2008, 03:01 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
be a medic if you can
Cities demand the most for there money, so being a paramedic/firefighter is the most important thing. They dont want to pay for you to go to school. What if you dont pass the test, blah blah blah. MOST CALLS ARE EMS in smaller cities. Only large cities typically accept basics, from what I have experienced, but you will have a tough shot going up against extra credit points that the medics get. Why dont you want to be a medic? Here in Ohio you can get your medic in about 6-8 mos. My suggestion is to become a medic. Go to www.fireprep.com read more stuff there or captain bobs website. Its competetive so you gotta have all you can get.
03-14-2008, 08:12 PM #3
Even though you've probably already thought of this, the only other thing I would recommend would be to get every firefighting certification in the book (e.g., driver operator pumper & ladder truck, fire investigator, HazMat Tech, etc.). Other than that, there are programs where you can get your paramedic done in six months and not a year. I know you're 26 and want to start making some dough, but six months isn't a whole lot longer in the grand scheme of things. Paramedic school is tough, but it's the key that unlocks sooo many doors.
03-15-2008, 11:23 PM #4
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Panther City, TX
What state are you in? What city/cities would you like to go to? Some don't require anything. Some require everything. Narrowing it down a bit may help you get some more accurate answers. The way we do it here and the way they do it there can be a big difference.
03-16-2008, 06:29 AM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2004
Like previously stated you need to narrow down your area for us to give you any real information about places to work that don't need your Paramedic license.
That being said all over the US there are tons of jobs that hire non Paramedic firefighters. On the other side of that coin there are many more EMT-B firefighters out there than Paramedic. I have no doubt in my mind that you can find places that hire non Paramedics but you will be up against thousands of candidates instead of just hundreds. It may take a year or more to get your Paramedic cirt but its going to take less time to get hired as one.
If you truly don't want to become a paramedic I would say get your self out and test everywhere. Don't limit yourself to one area and be willing to move. If you are you will find a job quicker.
Good luck"Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with the poor timid spirits, who know neither victory nor defeat." FDR
03-16-2008, 10:37 AM #6
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
Please do us all a favor. Do NOT go to medic school just to get a fire job. You will be miserable. More importantly, if your heart is not into the job you will be a terrible paramedic. Nobody wants to supervise someone who is unhappy in their postiion. The citizens deserve better, so does the fire service.
Decide where you want to live. Check out the entry-level requirements for the area and srive to meet them.
While there may be a few places in the country that require a paramedic license, there are many more that don't.
This will start a debate but; I guarantee there are many more FF EMT's hired across the country than FF/Paramedics. Yes, there are more tests that require a Paramedic license than not. As a general rule, smaller departments are the ones you see that require a PM license. Smaller departments only hire a few new firefighters each year. The larger departments that hire in blocks of 24 - 60 per academy do not require a paramedic license.
By the way, your experience is just dabbling in the fire service. You did not list any fire science education, or a basic fire academy. Focus on your FIRE experience by becomming a volunteer and completing a basic fire academy.
It's up to you to do your research. Find a match and then follow your dreams.
03-16-2008, 03:04 PM #7
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
Hey thanks for the replies.
I'm in the northwest. I'm limited to how far I can travel by how little money I make as a student/intern firefighter.
You make some good points. As far as experience, I have been through a firefighter academy, have my FF1, driver, and some haz mat stuff. I'm also about 1/2 way through completing my AS in fire science.
As far as what you said about not getting my P-cert, its not that I don't like the paramedic stuff. All the career guys I work with are medics and I've seen and helped them do some pretty amazing stuff in the back of the medic. Its just that I don't want to be stuck there.
So again, thanks for the input. I think what it comes down to is, its going to be a lot harder to get hired as a basic, but its going to also be difficult to spend another year and a half in school getting that p-cert.
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