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  • Got it! Don't worry, not a medic. So a slot is still open for you medics...

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    • Not necessarily related to hiring, but 8 or 9 of the Fairfax career staff failed out of the I->P program at NOVA this semester. Just a hair past midterms. For those lucky folks that just got hired....hit the books!

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      • Originally posted by OuchThatHurts View Post
        Not necessarily related to hiring, but 8 or 9 of the Fairfax career staff failed out of the I->P program at NOVA this semester. Just a hair past midterms. For those lucky folks that just got hired....hit the books!
        Going on what I've heard about the selection process for our recent Hazmat and TROT classes, the FRD values criteria other than merit for appointment to these programs (such as seniority for example), so this doesn't suprise me (They dissed medics for these two classes. Medics can typically study well, and have an easier time passing agorithm based skills stations, just sayin'). Also, NVCC doesn't cater to fire department clientele and make the program a cupcake course, like other parts of the country.

        There's no gimmes in NVCC's programs, and people do fail out of the FD's ALS internship process, so make sure you come correct when you get in - we're not enabling those that barely made it through their medic program just to get a fire job.
        "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

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        • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
          Going on what I've heard about the selection process for our recent Hazmat and TROT classes, the FRD values criteria other than merit for appointment to these programs (such as seniority for example), so this doesn't suprise me (They dissed medics for these two classes. Medics can typically study well, and have an easier time passing agorithm based skills stations, just sayin'). Also, NVCC doesn't cater to fire department clientele and make the program a cupcake course, like other parts of the country.

          There's no gimmes in NVCC's programs, and people do fail out of the FD's ALS internship process, so make sure you come correct when you get in - we're not enabling those that barely made it through their medic program just to get a fire job.
          I would like to respectfully disagree with you about the NVCC program, it is disturbingly easy to pass most of their courses.

          I cant speak for the FD's ALS internship, but the internship classes at NVCC dont require much effort to pass. You basically just have to show up. There are some numbers to hit (IVs, meds, etc.) but other than that there isnt much to it. No real grading. I would assume that the FD internships are more in depth though.

          As for the other classes in the medic program, you really have to try to fail. So much extra credit offered that its difficult to come up short.

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          • does anyone know what the staffing levels are for fairfax county?
            -Firefighting is a lifestyle NOT a career-

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            • Originally posted by OuchThatHurts View Post
              I would like to respectfully disagree with you about the NVCC program, it is disturbingly easy to pass most of their courses.

              I cant speak for the FD's ALS internship, but the internship classes at NVCC dont require much effort to pass. You basically just have to show up. There are some numbers to hit (IVs, meds, etc.) but other than that there isnt much to it. No real grading. I would assume that the FD internships are more in depth though.

              As for the other classes in the medic program, you really have to try to fail. So much extra credit offered that its difficult to come up short.
              I assume you're referring to the riding time the students do on ambulances. It's been called rotations, clinicals, ride-alongs, etc, depending on where you go. I thought you were referring to the program in it's entirety, not just the ambulance/hospital clinicals. Yes, in most places, you just need to have performed above a minimal level, and hit your numbers. I've only known field internships to be a pass or fail event. Everyone knows that. I was referring to the didactic content. I'm sure the college is not pushing people through the actual course content.

              If you want to see a real joke program, Lord Fairfax near Winchester allows their medic (EMT-I?) students (L.Z.) to do rotations on an interfacility bus. Right now, one of this school's students is doing her rotations on a Valley Medical Transport interfacility bus, where she works as an EMT.

              BTW, your information was regarding the EMT-I original, not an EMT-I to P bridge. The county is not currently putting their people through the P-program. That will happen once the EMT-I is no longer being offered due to national standards, or when we're par with ALS providers, whichever comes first. All ALS providers will be Paramedics at some point, but we're not financing the P-degree as of yet. Anyone in the EMS-AAS program is doing so on their own dime.
              "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

              Comment


              • Originally posted by DaveKiefer View Post
                does anyone know what the staffing levels are for fairfax county?
                EMS - "Ambulance" - FF/EMT x 2
                - "PTU" - Medic officer, FF/medic or EMT Tech
                - "One and One" - FF/medic or EMS Tech and one FF/EMT

                Suppression - Engine - Officer, Driver, LB FF/medic or any ALS certified, and RB FF/EMT
                - Truck/Tower - Officer, Driver, RB FF/EMT
                - Rescue Squad - Officer, Driver, two Techs, either Hazmat or TROT
                - Tanker - Driver
                - Hazmat unit - Officer, Driver, Two Hazmat Techs

                37 engines, 14 trucks/towers, four hazmat rescues, four TROT rescues, 37 medic units - 14 PTU's, the rest 1/1, with medic 439 dual medic non officer (runs into Loudon a lot), four BLS ambulances, I forget how many tankers, at least four. All of these units are staffed 24/7/365 by 24 hour personnel.

                We also have support units such as Light and Air units, SHRU, Medical Ambulance Bus, Tunnel Truck, Fire Boat, Swift Water Boats, Canteens, Rehab Unit, etc.

                We were given the left bucket medic position by way of argument that if the medic is needed to jump on the ambulance for txp, the engine can still be in service. The problem is, we went to a nearly all ALS system. Those non-PTU medics used to be BLS ambulances. This move necessitated hiring of many more medics, which the department has failed to do as of yet. The result is that the department uses engine officers and drivers for the minimal staffing of a medic on the engine. This is contrary to the selling point that got us four on the engine in the first place. This means that in some stations, the medics don't get on the engine at all. I can think of a dozen stations just off the top of my head without even trying.
                "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

                Comment


                • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
                  I assume you're referring to the riding time the students do on ambulances. It's been called rotations, clinicals, ride-alongs, etc, depending on where you go. I thought you were referring to the program in it's entirety, not just the ambulance/hospital clinicals. Yes, in most places, you just need to have performed above a minimal level, and hit your numbers. I've only known field internships to be a pass or fail event. Everyone knows that. I was referring to the didactic content. I'm sure the college is not pushing people through the actual course content.

                  If you want to see a real joke program, Lord Fairfax near Winchester allows their medic (EMT-I?) students (L.Z.) to do rotations on an interfacility bus. Right now, one of this school's students is doing her rotations on a Valley Medical Transport interfacility bus, where she works as an EMT.

                  BTW, your information was regarding the EMT-I original, not an EMT-I to P bridge. The county is not currently putting their people through the P-program. That will happen once the EMT-I is no longer being offered due to national standards, or when we're par with ALS providers, whichever comes first. All ALS providers will be Paramedics at some point, but we're not financing the P-degree as of yet. Anyone in the EMS-AAS program is doing so on their own dime.
                  Wow ride alongs on an IFT unit? Thats insanity!

                  I dont want to bash the NVCC program too much on here, but i have some issues with the way they do things. For starters, an A&P class isnt even a requirement to get in. You can take a human biology class instead. There are several other issues i have as well but i dont feel like i should broadcast them on here.

                  The program has potential, but they are short staffed, making it difficult to cover the curriculum in enough detail.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by OuchThatHurts View Post
                    Wow ride alongs on an IFT unit? Thats insanity!

                    I dont want to bash the NVCC program too much on here, but i have some issues with the way they do things. For starters, an A&P class isnt even a requirement to get in. You can take a human biology class instead. There are several other issues i have as well but i dont feel like i should broadcast them on here.

                    The program has potential, but they are short staffed, making it difficult to cover the curriculum in enough detail.
                    I agree that A&P w/ lab ought to be required, but mandating NAS 150 and HLT 250 at the minimum is better than a lot of programs across the country. Many P programs run from 6-9 months, such as Lowcountry EMS in Charleston SC, for example. Or, you could go from zero to hero in 3 1/2 months:

                    http://www.teex.org/teex.cfm?pageid=...&Course=EMS135

                    I think they're what the Houston FD uses. I'd like to see what LA City puts their people through. They aren't even allowed to read 12's!

                    Many of these tech schools have no college pre reqs, only an in house two week A&P "for EMS," and a one week "30 medication Pharm for EMS," so even having the bare bones basices of NAS 150 and HLT 250 puts you way ahead of most of the programs in the country to begin with.

                    As an aside, IMO, anywhere outside of NYC or another system where medics don't run BLS such as injuries, MVA's, sick jobs, abd pain, EDP's, single Sz, intox w/o AMS and such, the student isn't going to get much out of their ride alongs. I used to get 2-3 good ALS jobs (pushing multiple meds, altered APE or critical asthmatic, MI > cardiogenic shock, dropping tubes, etc.) per 8 hour shift for my ride alongs, and also when I hit the street. Here, I may see a good job or two every month, and we work a 56 hour week. As such, any system that has an all-ALS EMS deployment is not the place to be if you want to be an aggressive medic. We have all the resources we need to do our jobb well, but I wouldn't be 1/10 the medic I am if I didn't have the urban tiered ALS experience.
                    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

                    Comment


                    • edpmedic,

                      Can you talk a bit about the Fairfax County FRD ALS internship for new hires. How long is it? Does probation start during the internship? Is it similar to internship for medic school (at least mine)? All eyes on you, nobody is going to do anything unless you direct them to, getting drilled on protocols. How soon are you expected to know the protocols like the back of your hand?
                      Are you still training in suppression during the internship?

                      Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
                        I agree that A&P w/ lab ought to be required, but mandating NAS 150 and HLT 250 at the minimum is better than a lot of programs across the country. Many P programs run from 6-9 months, such as Lowcountry EMS in Charleston SC, for example. Or, you could go from zero to hero in 3 1/2 months:

                        http://www.teex.org/teex.cfm?pageid=...&Course=EMS135

                        I think they're what the Houston FD uses. I'd like to see what LA City puts their people through. They aren't even allowed to read 12's!

                        Many of these tech schools have no college pre reqs, only an in house two week A&P "for EMS," and a one week "30 medication Pharm for EMS," so even having the bare bones basices of NAS 150 and HLT 250 puts you way ahead of most of the programs in the country to begin with.

                        As an aside, IMO, anywhere outside of NYC or another system where medics don't run BLS such as injuries, MVA's, sick jobs, abd pain, EDP's, single Sz, intox w/o AMS and such, the student isn't going to get much out of their ride alongs. I used to get 2-3 good ALS jobs (pushing multiple meds, altered APE or critical asthmatic, MI > cardiogenic shock, dropping tubes, etc.) per 8 hour shift for my ride alongs, and also when I hit the street. Here, I may see a good job or two every month, and we work a 56 hour week. As such, any system that has an all-ALS EMS deployment is not the place to be if you want to be an aggressive medic. We have all the resources we need to do our jobb well, but I wouldn't be 1/10 the medic I am if I didn't have the urban tiered ALS experience.
                        Last paragraph of your post is pure truth, good stuff.

                        And yes, the program could be much worse. Compared to some of the medic mills that you mentioned it may as well be Harvard. Come on though, no 12 lead course?!? I have no idea why they dont teach 12 leads since its within the scope of I's and P's. I dont think thats a topic that should be self taught.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Xan View Post
                          edpmedic,

                          Can you talk a bit about the Fairfax County FRD ALS internship for new hires. How long is it? Does probation start during the internship? Is it similar to internship for medic school (at least mine)? All eyes on you, nobody is going to do anything unless you direct them to, getting drilled on protocols. How soon are you expected to know the protocols like the back of your hand?
                          Are you still training in suppression during the internship?

                          Thanks.
                          The process has changed a few times over the past four years. The 125th - 127th did six to seven weeks in the academy for orientation and alphabet cards, then 16 weeks in the field. This was the ALS internship, which was three 12 hour days and four hours every Friday at the Tyson's EMS training facility. The training is call review, a review on each subject (cardiac one day, resp, trauma, OB, etc), protocol review, and testing on said protocols that includes scenario based training with Sim-Man, with a living room replica or an ambulance replica. The written is pass or fail, as is each scenario. People do fail out.

                          After that 16 weeks, the medics join the basics for suppression, who were doing their orientation and EMT original during the latter part of the ALS internship. Suppression was 16 weeks at tht point. The total recruit time for medics was about nine months.

                          The 129th did their fire training first, then their entire internship afterward. The medics in the 128th were 1/2 the old way, and 1/2 the new way IIRC.

                          Starting with the 129th or 130th (I'm not sure) the ALS interns did all of their fire training, then were assigned to 24 hour shift work for a six month internship, 100% on the ambulance with an EMS Lt. With the 130th, the medics ride third on the bus, all eyes on them, getting drilled like you say, etc. for only two months, then they're cleared to drive, where it's only them and the Lt. Previously, they were third on the medic and were in the back all the time for six months. We think this two month deal was a cost saving measure at the expense of proper training.

                          After the six months is up, the FF/medic can ride on the engine as a medic or a PTU (double medeic unit w/officer). With the 125th-127th, after the fire academy, we were able to do that right away, having already done the internship.

                          After a year out of fire school, the FF/medic will train to be an ALS lead, where they can ride the one and one (medic/EMT) bus.

                          Almost forgot, during that post academy internship on 24 hour shift work, the ALS interns go to Tysons for four hours every Friday, as before. If it's on a scheduled work day, you're detailed out until you get back. If it's an off day, it's OT.

                          If any of the above is inaccurate, feel free to correct me.
                          "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by OuchThatHurts View Post
                            Last paragraph of your post is pure truth, good stuff.

                            And yes, the program could be much worse. Compared to some of the medic mills that you mentioned it may as well be Harvard. Come on though, no 12 lead course?!? I have no idea why they dont teach 12 leads since its within the scope of I's and P's. I dont think thats a topic that should be self taught.
                            I'm sure they're exposed to 12's in medic school, but in most places, they only spend a couple of days on it. At least in a good EMS AAS class, an entire course will be devoted to 12's. In LA, they're known to be so poor at reading 12's, that they just transmit and do whatever OLMC advises.

                            Also, getting back to NVCC, their short staffing isn't too difficult to figure out - we received an e-mail the other day asking for skills evaluators for their NR-P cert. They offered $20/hr plus lunch. I would assume that instructors get a similar wage. Not too bad, except that my OT is not too far off from $40/hr. When you factor in the FLSA 212 hour threshold, if I do OT earlier in the pay period, I'm getting an extra 1/2 hour's pay for each hour worked as well. Most of the FF/medics in neighboring depts are making well over $20/hr in OT, and can get more hours than the school offers. In addition, many of us live outside of Fairfax, and the MEC is in Springfield, so the distance and traffic is prohibitive. We could do probably 8-16 hours at NVCC a week if we're lucky, but I only have to make one trip for 24 hours of OT, or the same money for one trip at 12 hrs OT. NVCC may require professional Healthcare degrees to ba qualified to teach, and most medics don't have that.

                            Same problem in nursing - the schools don't pay educators well, so nurses can make much more in the field, especially on a per diem basis. This is why nursing schools refuse to be flexible with clinical times, or offer flip flop schedules for students that do shift work.
                            Last edited by edpmedic; 11-09-2011, 12:16 PM. Reason: Extra sentence, not needed
                            "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give to those who are not." Thomas Jefferson

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
                              The process has changed a few times over the past four years. The 125th - 127th did six to seven weeks in the academy for orientation and alphabet cards, then 16 weeks in the field. This was the ALS internship, which was three 12 hour days and four hours every Friday at the Tyson's EMS training facility. The training is call review, a review on each subject (cardiac one day, resp, trauma, OB, etc), protocol review, and testing on said protocols that includes scenario based training with Sim-Man, with a living room replica or an ambulance replica. The written is pass or fail, as is each scenario. People do fail out.

                              After that 16 weeks, the medics join the basics for suppression, who were doing their orientation and EMT original during the latter part of the ALS internship. Suppression was 16 weeks at tht point. The total recruit time for medics was about nine months.

                              The 129th did their fire training first, then their entire internship afterward. The medics in the 128th were 1/2 the old way, and 1/2 the new way IIRC.

                              Starting with the 129th or 130th (I'm not sure) the ALS interns did all of their fire training, then were assigned to 24 hour shift work for a six month internship, 100% on the ambulance with an EMS Lt. With the 130th, the medics ride third on the bus, all eyes on them, getting drilled like you say, etc. for only two months, then they're cleared to drive, where it's only them and the Lt. Previously, they were third on the medic and were in the back all the time for six months. We think this two month deal was a cost saving measure at the expense of proper training.

                              After the six months is up, the FF/medic can ride on the engine as a medic or a PTU (double medeic unit w/officer). With the 125th-127th, after the fire academy, we were able to do that right away, having already done the internship.

                              After a year out of fire school, the FF/medic will train to be an ALS lead, where they can ride the one and one (medic/EMT) bus.

                              Almost forgot, during that post academy internship on 24 hour shift work, the ALS interns go to Tysons for four hours every Friday, as before. If it's on a scheduled work day, you're detailed out until you get back. If it's an off day, it's OT.

                              If any of the above is inaccurate, feel free to correct me.
                              Thanks for the info! Does probation start during the internship or do you still have a year of probation after that? During the internship, are you training in suppression with other crews?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by edpmedic View Post
                                I'm sure they're exposed to 12's in medic school, but in most places, they only spend a couple of days on it. At least in a good EMS AAS class, an entire course will be devoted to 12's. In LA, they're known to be so poor at reading 12's, that they just transmit and do whatever OLMC advises.

                                Also, getting back to NVCC, their short staffing isn't too difficult to figure out - we received an e-mail the other day asking for skills evaluators for their NR-P cert. They offered $20/hr plus lunch. I would assume that instructors get a similar wage. Not too bad, except that my OT is not too far off from $40/hr. When you factor in the FLSA 212 hour threshold, if I do OT earlier in the pay period, I'm getting an extra 1/2 hour's pay for each hour worked as well. Most of the FF/medics in neighboring depts are making well over $20/hr in OT, and can get more hours than the school offers. In addition, many of us live outside of Fairfax, and the MEC is in Springfield, so the distance and traffic is prohibitive. We could do probably 8-16 hours at NVCC a week if we're lucky, but I only have to make one trip for 24 hours of OT, or the same money for one trip at 12 hrs OT. NVCC may require professional Healthcare degrees to ba qualified to teach, and most medics don't have that.

                                Same problem in nursing - the schools don't pay educators well, so nurses can make much more in the field, especially on a per diem basis. This is why nursing schools refuse to be flexible with clinical times, or offer flip flop schedules for students that do shift work.

                                We have the same problem in nursing. They
                                I went through NVCC's program and unfortunately there was very little exposure to 12 leads. We had 1 lecture on them! It was basically just to show us how to identify a STEMI. I suppose we are still better off than the medics in LA that you mentioned.

                                Im pretty sure you are right about the pay being low for the instructors, some of them were not shy about voicing their displeasure at the low pay to the students. They have a few core teachers who do the lecturing, and then adjunct instructors (medics) from the surrounding counties come in to help out with the labs.

                                I suppose im just being picky, but i expected a little more from a degree program.

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