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  • Firefighter/Paramedic

    This question is for all of the firefighters/paramedics in a paid department. Which do you spend more of your time working as a firefighter or a paramedic? I have heard that alot of times firefighters/paramedic get stuck working as a paramedic, but I wanted to be able to varify this.
    Thanks
    Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.

  • #2
    I work for a large department. All personnel in the department are minimum EMT-B. We also have the FF/Medic concept here.
    We have ALS ambulances and engines. Two medics ride the ambulance and the engines must have a medic on board 24/7. The medics are supposed to ride the medic 1 day and then switch to a ladder or engine on their next work day. Not being a medic, my observation is that most medics ride the ambulances 3/4's of the time for various reasons. The one good thing about being a medic is that their is a 8% pay differential which adds up to thousands of more dollars a year.

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    • #3
      We have to be medics to take the test. At my station their is a truck, ALS engine and ALS ambulance.
      The engine chases on trouble breathing, unconsious, full arrest, serious trauma, seizure, suicide in progress, unknown medical and other calls that the shift commander thinks is serious enough to get the engine.
      So 5 or 6 of us go on the vast majority of calls. We rotate between the three rigs but even with that we still run a vast majority of EMS.

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      • #4
        In our Dept Firefighter/Paramedics are firefighters who volunteer to take the extra training to become Paramedics, there are 2 paramedics assigned per shift to a station, so if both are on (i.e. not on annual or sick leave) they take turns on shift on the rescue, one on the pumper
        A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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        • #5
          We do a 50-50 flip-flop thingy. Half your shifts are on an engine, the other half are on an ambulance (until you have enough seniority to get off the ambulance). My old department did a "2-shifts-on-the-engine/one-shift-on-the-ambulance" rotation. While I enjoy EMS a great deal, it is nice to get a break from it, and focus on fire for a while. I feel that this method keeps burnout down, and skills up.

          I have seen departments where the medics do not rotate, and they are stuck on an ambulance for 6 years. If you want to see some overworked, lazy, burnt-out medics, look at these guys. Any department that doesn't allow its medics to rotate off the ambulance every now and then shouldn't be surprised when the complaints from citizens start rolling in.

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          • #6
            My departments, like many, run so much more for medical calls than fire, so the focus for FF/P's is more toward the medical needs. In my full time job, I run exclusively on the ambulance but function as a firefighter at any fire-related calls (box alarms, structures, etc).
            ~Kevin
            Firefighter/Paramedic
            --^v--^v--^v--^v--
            Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
            Dennis Miller

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            • #7
              I'll speak for the two large cross trained/dual role departments I have worked for.

              Houston (TX) - If you are a firefighter and a paramedic (as of 2001), you will spend 100% of your assigned shift time on the medic unit. There are the freak incidence of you being on an engine or ladder, but it is really damn unlikely.

              Fairfax County (VA) - There is a spot on every engine for a paramedic. Our medic units run with at the min of one medic officer and one medic Firefighter. Right now we have a newly promoted medic Lieutenant being precepted by an experienced medic Lieutenant, so I am spending all my time on the Engine. I couldn't be happier.

              As for reponsibility on the Engine, it is just the nature of the fire service these days that I do more EMS work than pure supression work.
              Member IACOJ - Building crust and full of lust...

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

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              • #8
                I'm assigned to an Engine and it's one of those deals where some days we make a lot of medical calls and some days we make a lot of fires. My station has an E, T , an ALS Ambulance, and a Squad. Our Squad is staffed by 2 FF's, one from the T and 1 from the E. It is on a rotation. I'm never assigned to the box, but may work on the truck if they have a man off, and we are 1 up on the E. Our squad usually handles most of the med calls, and if a run comes in when they are gone then either the T or E takes it with 3 men onboard. If it is a structure fire, then they can meet up with us there after they have finished the med run. Lately I have been doing more fire work than EMT work. We relly have not been getting a lot of EMS calls, but we have made various types of fires pretty regular.
                http://www.sanantoniofire.org

                IACOJ
                Got Crust?

                We lucky few, ... we band of brothers

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                • #9
                  At my station when we have a medic(2 of 3 shifts) they work 12hrs on ambulance, 12 on engine. The other station works 24 on squad 24 on engine.
                  AKA: Mr. Whoo-Whoo

                  IAFF Local 3900

                  IACOJ-The Crusty Glow Worm

                  ENGINE 302 - The Fire Rats

                  F.A.N.T.A.M FOOLS FTM-PTB

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                  • #10
                    Our fire service and abulance service are separate so even though there are paramedics on our job they are only firefighters like the rest of us (it's nice to have those guys on the trucks though). We are trained to E.P.C. which is first responder with alot more theory and anatomy and physiology. We are all defib. certified, o2therapy certified and airway management certified and all pumpers, aerials, rescues and support vehicles carry defibs.

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                    • #11
                      We only have two stations right now. We have 4 or 5 cert EMTs. We only run first responder. When EMS is called out we usually respond with them in the engine, no matter what the call is. We do get canceled quite a bit but it is nice that we respond in case of something really bad.
                      Last edited by toldyaso71; 09-21-2003, 12:50 PM.

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                      • #12
                        In my dept. we're all firefighter/paramedics and are in a rotation.
                        Drive squad, doc squad, drive engine, engine jumpseat, engine jumpseat, then back to drive squad. The two engine jumpseats will man the backup squad when the frontline squad is on a call, as well as man the rescue truck (with extrication equip). For person down, unconcious, or any thing sounding serious, the engine will chase the squad for extra manpower. If both squads are out the engine will "first respond" and start patient care until a squad from the other district arrives. 75% of our call volume is EMS. When we respond to fires, B.C. is in command car, engine makes quik attack, squad pulls back-up line and does search and rescue, 2nd due engine or ladder catches hydrant and does ventilation.
                        Last edited by Hobbitt; 10-20-2003, 01:12 PM.
                        Marc S.
                        Firefighter/Paramedic
                        Solon Local 2079

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                        • #13
                          edit to remove personal info.
                          Last edited by FiremedicMike; 03-25-2012, 08:42 PM.

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                          • #14
                            We're a small department - 1 station. we're staffed with three, but will drop to two for Vacation/SL. We provide the ALS ambulance for the county, if we have a medical, two will take the ambulance, and the shift officer will call for OT to back fill the station. If we have a fire all three go on the engine and call for OT to either back fill, or general alarm (everybody invited) depending on severity.

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                            • #15
                              I made FireEngineer (driver) in April. At that time they made a policy that all FireEngineer/ Paramedics will ride 2 shifts/month. It is more like 5-6 shifts/month. We have a VERY SERIOUS paramedic shortage in our department/ Georgia as a whole.

                              My title would be more suited as
                              PARAMEDIC /FireEngineer

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