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  • is paramedic unavoidable

    Hey yall I gotta question we were talking round the table last shift about paramedic becoming a mandated cert for even black hat wearing firefighters what do yall think cause what we do as a EMT-I is honestly all I want to do I don't have a interest in everything paramedics can do ambulances get there bout the same time we do ill let them have the ALS work but what do yall think is having the paramedic cert going to be unavoidable?

  • #2
    I think it varies by location. We have some departments around here that require Paramedic. Some (like mine), require EMT. And some only require first responder.
    Career Firefighter
    Volunteer Captain

    -Professional in Either Role-

    Originally posted by Rescue101
    I don't mind fire rolling over my head. I just don't like it rolling UNDER my a**.

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    • #3
      Like GT said, it varies by area. Of the 525 members at work, slightly less than 200 of them are ALS providers.

      We have the luxury of having very aggressive, open protocols, and our EMT-I's and EMT-P's practice the exact same procedures, with the exception of RSI (must be a two paramedics on board to perform RSI). We also rarely (if ever) have to call for orders from the hospital.

      Right off hand, I can only think of one department in my area that requires their members to be ALS, and even then, they're only required to be EMT-I.
      Career Fire Captain
      Volunteer Chief Officer


      Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!

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      • #4
        That's kinda what I thought I live in the out skirts of atlanta Ga and pretty much all the surrounding departments you gotta have EMT-I before your probation is over but I've heard some departments are making anyone in the rank of Lt and higher to be a paramedic but I didn't know if its true

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        • #5
          Across the country that is true. Many departments are making people of a certain rank or higher be medics. I'm not sure around your area.
          Fire Service Interview questions - The blog that has REAL interview questions for firefighters, Engineers, Lieutenants, and Captains !

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          • #6
            In NJ you can only practice as a medic if hospital based (don't think there are any exceptions..?_
            I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

            "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

            "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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            • #7
              It is going to be a national standard in a decade or so.
              FF/Paramedic

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TNFF319 View Post
                It is going to be a national standard in a decade or so.
                In what way? I don't see how that could be.
                I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                  In what way? I don't see how that could be.
                  I believe people will no longer be satisfied with BLS response and transport. It may not become a national standard, but I believe fewer EMTs will be on the street. EMTs are just continuing their education and rolling right on to medic. The ability to do more for the pt and PAY are huge reasons. EMS is way under paid. A medic doesn't make enough so an EMT moves up to survive. Volunteers will continue to be first responders and EMTs, but larger cities will make the transition. My view is also jaded. The Memphis area is very ALS. If a fire department responds to a medical, chances are a medic is on scene. Even the volunteer departments are begining to have a medic show up. I am still shocked by paid departments that do not do any medical. EMS in TN is also advanced.
                  FF/Paramedic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TNFF319 View Post
                    I believe people will no longer be satisfied with BLS response and transport. It may not become a national standard, but I believe fewer EMTs will be on the street. EMTs are just continuing their education and rolling right on to medic. The ability to do more for the pt and PAY are huge reasons. EMS is way under paid. A medic doesn't make enough so an EMT moves up to survive. Volunteers will continue to be first responders and EMTs, but larger cities will make the transition. My view is also jaded. The Memphis area is very ALS. If a fire department responds to a medical, chances are a medic is on scene. Even the volunteer departments are begining to have a medic show up. I am still shocked by paid departments that do not do any medical. EMS in TN is also advanced.
                    Gotcha, I thought you had some info that I wasn't aware of.

                    The northeast, NJ specifically, is very different then other areas. ALS is a hospital based function. If a FD runs the EMS, it's BLS.

                    I think it could change in the future, but from what I've seen EMS changes at a pace that would make Firefighters lose patience.
                    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

                    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

                    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChiefKN View Post
                      Gotcha, I thought you had some info that I wasn't aware of.
                      No the national standard I was refering to is public demand. I think the public will contiune to demand more for less. They want a fireman to show up and solve any problem under the sun and they want it fast and cheap.
                      FF/Paramedic

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                      • #12
                        Both career departments in my area are very paramedic heavy. While it's not a formal requirement for a new member to become one in one of the departments, it is a very strong expectation and almost a defacto requirement for promotion.

                        In the other department, becoming a paramedic for new personnel is now a requirement, In fact, they send all new membes to paramedic class shortly after the academy, and you must pass to retain your position. I don't believe it's required for older members, but I do believe it is now a requirement for promotion to captain and beyond.

                        The fire districts are hit and miss. Many of them prefer you get your paramedic, and it gives a very strong advantage if you bring paramedic to the table if you are looking to get hired. This is especially true in the parish to my west, where most of the fire districts handle thier own EMS transport.

                        In our parish, that's not the case as EMS transport is handled by a parish run third service, A couple of the departments with paid staff, including ours, is heavily into ALS first response delivery, and a couple of them are not. Our Deputy Chief is a paramedic and 1 of the 2 shift personnel on each shift is a paramedic as well.

                        The neighboring parishes to our east are almost all BLS, and while there are some fire department based paramedics, it's the exception and not the rule. In fact, the primarily career small city department to our east still doesn't run any EMS.
                        Train to fight the fires you fight.

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                        • #13
                          I am a volunteer at a small department and only about half of our guys are even first responders I don't think our chief is EMT B (not sure though) and we will usually be at a house a good 5-10 minutes before any ambulance. To me it would be a good idea to get EMT P just in case and the more training the better chances you have later.

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                          • #14
                            It all depends on where you are. If you work for a dept that provides fire and ALS services with no separation of the two then most likely you will need a blue patch to get hired. As far as making you go to medic school once your on the job, well unless you signed a contract saying you would then good luck making that stick. Our dept, like almost all around here, only hires medics because all our units are ALS. Why hire an EMT and pay for them to go through medic school and risk the chance that they won't pass when you can hire someone who's already certified. It make perfect financial sense and quite a few of the locals have pushed for this too.

                            As for getting people who are already on the job to become certified, legally I don't see anything the dept can do. They can either offer incentives to go to school or disincentives for not going to school. The latter was used by our County 8 or so years ago. The County wanted ALS engines but did not have enough medics nor did they have the money to hire any firemedics to add to the engines. So they decided to make the firefighter spot on the engines a firemedic spot and if the firefighter didn't get a medic patch before the date the engine was to go ALS then they got bumped out of their spot and put on the rescue as the driver. Some guys retired and others went to the in house medic school.
                            If your going to cry about doing the job you signed up for do us all a favor and quit, there are plenty of dedicated people standing in line for the best job in the world.

                            Lieutenant

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Firemedic 61 View Post
                              It all depends on where you are. If you work for a dept that provides fire and ALS services with no separation of the two then most likely you will need a blue patch to get hired. As far as making you go to medic school once your on the job, well unless you signed a contract saying you would then good luck making that stick. Our dept, like almost all around here, only hires medics because all our units are ALS. Why hire an EMT and pay for them to go through medic school and risk the chance that they won't pass when you can hire someone who's already certified. It make perfect financial sense and quite a few of the locals have pushed for this too.

                              As for getting people who are already on the job to become certified, legally I don't see anything the dept can do. They can either offer incentives to go to school or disincentives for not going to school. The latter was used by our County 8 or so years ago. The County wanted ALS engines but did not have enough medics nor did they have the money to hire any firemedics to add to the engines. So they decided to make the firefighter spot on the engines a firemedic spot and if the firefighter didn't get a medic patch before the date the engine was to go ALS then they got bumped out of their spot and put on the rescue as the driver. Some guys retired and others went to the in house medic school.
                              Hopefully your dept. gave atleast a year before the engines went ALS. That would SUCK if you had even less time than that to complete a whole medic course. :x

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