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  • Paramedic working as an EMT

    I recently met with an aspiring firefighter who had taken the step to become a paramedic. He was an academy graduate and still could not get hired. He became a paramedic with the thought that it would help him get hired. Good plan, right?
    Kind of......

    Where his plan failed is that after completing paramedic school, he returned to his EMT job at the local ambulance company. Huge mistake! Here's why.......

    He is most likely going to be taking lateral firefighter/paramedic tests. This thins down the competition. Unfortunately, bit certainly not expected, the department that hires him will expect him to be extremely competent with his paramedic skills. This is not another chance for a paramedic internship where they will teach you how to be a paramedic; the expectation is that the department is hiring someone who is ALREADY a competent paramedic.
    The City of Carlsbad has a good way of flushing out candidates whose medic skills are not where they should be. They hire you and assign you 10 shifts on an ambulance to evaluate your skills. If, at the end of 10 shifts you are not a competent paramedic, you are terminated.

    One of my peers recently gave a lateral paramedic test. Only four candidates made the list, none of which had any experience. He believed that he could not put any of them on an engine as the assessment medic on the south end of town and feel comfortable that he would be doing the best thing for his community. He threw out the list and retested.

    I expect someone who becomes a paramedic to be excited to use their skills. A candidate who opts for a role as an EMT makes me wonder about their confidence. I also know that there is NO WAY you are a competent paramedic. When questioned, the person I met with said he felt he was still as sharp as the day he finished internship because he was running 911 calls as an EMT. I reminded him that if I was looking for a quarterback of my team that I wanted the guy who was on the field playing the game rather than the water boy who attended every practice and game.

    I understand that may not be any 911 private paramedic jobs in your area. It's up to you to go find one.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

  • #2
    What an interesting point!

    Shamelessly copied:

    http://firegeezer.com/2011/04/02/pau...reer-position/

    Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      Mike,
      Feel free to copy any of my articles. I always enjoy your passion for EMS and your insightful posts....
      Paul Lepore
      Division Chief
      Aspiringfirefighters.com
      AspiringFireOfficers.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by paulLepore View Post
        Mike,
        Feel free to copy any of my articles. I always enjoy your passion for EMS and your insightful posts....
        Thanks!

        Mike

        Comment


        • #5
          Huh?

          Thanks for equating the work I do to being the "waterboy" of the team. I am an EMT and take alot of pride in my job. Maybe that guy was trying to get promoted to paramedic at his current job so thats why he chose to stay? Jobs are hard to come by these days and I say hold on to the one you have as long as possible and gain as much experience as you can. It looks better on a resume to have less jobs over a longer period of time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Turk,
            Take the chip off of your shoulder. The message was not being sent to you....
            Paul Lepore
            Division Chief
            Aspiringfirefighters.com
            AspiringFireOfficers.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Chief,

              Heres one for ya that fits this bill (kind of)

              I'm a "new" Paramedic. Ended class in October and got a job as a Paramedic on a local private who does not run 911. I've applied at a few FD's trying to get on just part time to get some more 911 experience. I do have some 911 experience but all as a EMT-Intermediate and Basic. I am running as a ALS squad with my private company. I've done quite a few ALS calls including ventilator trips, people with drips, and quite a few transfer calls from urgent cares to emergency rooms (basically a step down from 911) now if I get to an interview how do I talk that up? If it seems to me that being on a private company that does not run 911 is a hindrance to me? I could be reading your post wrong too so if I am please clear it up for me. I've learned some very good points from your other posts in other forums
              Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

              Comment


              • #8
                Am I the only one having trouble grasping this concept? Around here if I am working as an EMT, then go to Paramedic school, I am now a Paramedic. The very next shift I go to work I will be working as a Paramedic. Not sure how you can be certified to one level and work as another.
                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**.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Many private company's, and FD's for that matter require some sort of internal training prior to going from EMT, or Firefighter EMT to a Paramedic position. The private company I used to work for would require its EMT's go through a Field training course, then work a certain amount of shifts with a Field Trainer. And the FD I now work for has a similar process. Some places will treat this as another internship, where as some treat it more as an orientation to how a paramedic operates within a particular organization. The problem with alot of places (and Ill reference SD county as it was used in the first post) is the fact that alot of Private Medic schools have started showing up, and there is good money in it. So they become Medic factory's, just pumping out paramedics (often with poor quality control). When I left SD there were 4 Medic programs, and rumors of a 5th in the works. But there are VERY few medic jobs available in the county. The majority of my Medic class is still without jobs and we have been graduated for well over a year now. And those of has that have been fortunate enough to get hired by private or fire have had to leave the county/state.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GManzan View Post
                    Many private company's, and FD's for that matter require some sort of internal training prior to going from EMT, or Firefighter EMT to a Paramedic position. The private company I used to work for would require its EMT's go through a Field training course, then work a certain amount of shifts with a Field Trainer. And the FD I now work for has a similar process. Some places will treat this as another internship, where as some treat it more as an orientation to how a paramedic operates within a particular organization. The problem with alot of places (and Ill reference SD county as it was used in the first post) is the fact that alot of Private Medic schools have started showing up, and there is good money in it. So they become Medic factory's, just pumping out paramedics (often with poor quality control). When I left SD there were 4 Medic programs, and rumors of a 5th in the works. But there are VERY few medic jobs available in the county. The majority of my Medic class is still without jobs and we have been graduated for well over a year now. And those of has that have been fortunate enough to get hired by private or fire have had to leave the county/state.
                    That's all fine and good, but while working out that internship or whatever, you should be working at the level you are trained to while also performing the skill sets that go along with the level of certification.
                    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**.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      While doing your "Field Training" you do operate as a Paramedic. The problem is that there are so many Paramedics the the new Paramedic graduates are forced to go back to work as EMT basics and wait for the opportunity to go through "Field Training". And private EMS is a business so they will not just Field Train you because you have the certification, they will wait until they need medics. Its the simple fact that they dont want to pay Paramedic to do the work as an EMT. Where you work it may be different, but out here thats the way it works.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GTRider245 View Post
                        Am I the only one having trouble grasping this concept? Around here if I am working as an EMT, then go to Paramedic school, I am now a Paramedic. The very next shift I go to work I will be working as a Paramedic. Not sure how you can be certified to one level and work as another.
                        The example was that the person continued to work on an EMT-level transport unit.

                        He was NOT using his paramedic skills, NOT developing experience and competency as an ALS provider.

                        The lateral hires described by Chief Lepore include the expectation that the new employee can IMMEDIATELY start work as a paramedic/firefighter assigned to a fire company.

                        No internship, no field orientation.

                        Apparently a few California departments allow 5 calls to 10 shifts to determine if you are capable performing as a competent paramedic ... or you are fired.

                        Mike

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mike,
                          You are absolutely correct. Any department that is testing for a lateral firefighter/paramedic is expecting to fill the seat with someone who is ready to go. Nobody is looking for a project. If a department is hiring firefighter/EMT’s and a candidate has a paramedic license, the level of paramedic experience MAY not be as important.

                          In regards to a candidate who graduates paramedic school and is unable to find a paramedic job and settles for doing IFT’s, this is a step better than working as an EMT. It is not nearly as good as someone who is running 911 calls.

                          We have an open seat on the medic rig that we need to fill. We want the person who is trained and ready to go. If we hire people who are not, our workforce will not accept it. They are the ones who will complain to us about your skills. This is especially true if we are going to put you directly on an engine as an assessment medic. Even if we put you on a box and you are the weak link, it’s not in the best interest of the community.

                          I understand it’s competitive to get a 911 paramedic job with a private company. None of us are hiring which means that there is a backlog just to get a private job. My son in law struggled for 4 months to get an EMT job in southern California. His plan is to get as many EMT hours as possible so he can go to paramedic school. Once completed, I expect he will commute 75 miles one way to get a $9.00/ hour private paramedic job. This is all with the intent of getting hired as a fire medic one day. The more calls he runs as a private medic the better his chances of making it as a new fire department medic.

                          It’s tough out there. The bottom line is those who are persistent and willing to make sacrifices will usually be rewarded.
                          Paul Lepore
                          Division Chief
                          Aspiringfirefighters.com
                          AspiringFireOfficers.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am currently 1/2 done with my internship while still working as an EMT Basic on a 911 car. When I'm finished with the internship (and there is an opening) ill move into a FTO process for medic. Otherwise I will be working as a medic on scene and a basic in the ambulance. That is how my company does it. This is a bad time to try and get a job, both in FD and private EMS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Guess it just goes to show how different things are across the country.
                              Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

                              Comment

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