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  • EMS training

    Our small rural dept gets approx 80-90 calls a year mostly MVAs and medical. We have a substantial elderly population and while everyone has a BLS certification, we are looking for more EMS trained personnel. (I do not believe we have a current EMT)
    Here’s
    are my questions.
    1 - As I don’t work in the medical field, is it worth while to invest the time for an EMT-B class or will something like a ECA/EMR certificate suffice? Thinking the EMT-B may provide a secondary skill set I could market should my current career industry hit a rough patch.
    2 - The department does have a training budget and they seem willing to pay for the courses, but am curious how other VFD handle it. Reimbursement? Pay up front? Partial payment as I could market the skill set later?
    Any other input is welcome.

  • #2
    Not sure what you want to do later in life, but and I am non medical, but suggest go with emt and eventually get paramedic.

    Check some of the local ambulance companies and hospitals, some will train you, if you work for them for awhile.

    Also, not sure which state you are in, but some state fire marshal offices or similar have training funds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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    • #3
      We are a similar department to yours. We run medical, roughly 120 a year, non-transport.
      Historically we have paid for EMT-B classes, the stipulation being the person completes our "academy" first for support/defensive fire at minimum.

      However, we have slowly been shifting to be more willing to pay for classes even for those who have not done the academy, because medical is so much of what we respond to, and not everyone wants to do the fire side as well.

      depending on the department or circumstance, I have seen it go either 50/50 up front, and reimburse the remaining after a year, I've seen it be all paid after a year in service, or all up front.

      My personal preference is if someone has completed the defensive academy at minimum, or whatever recruit training your department implements, that the district pays the class fee. Medical personnel is hard to come by, and critical to agencies that respond to medical calls.

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      • #4
        We will pay for the classes. If you attend them and fail, we still pay. If you don't show up or don't finish the class (take the test), you pay us back.

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        • #5
          Good to know, thank you!

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          • #6
            Our FD pays for it once a firefighters has done 5 years as a volunteer, the delay being in part (1) to invest in those who've contributed to the department/community (2) in part 'cos academy/initial training is so exhausting we don't want to burn people out. For those impatient they can pay for it, and we'll reimburse (I forget if there are some constraints for this, bit I think so, e.g. stay another year or so.)

            EMT-B level could be a big benefit for your community (especially dependent upon how long it takes for ALS to arrive.) It is a big commitment (for a volunteer with a full time job) but if you get to EMT-IV your scope of practice should include some key life saving procedures that EMRs cannot provide. If you do go down this path don't think about it as a secondary skill, think of it as a passion and a calling that you'll need to continue to invest in (long after the certification) in order to keep your skills up. If you are passionate to bring that to your department, then take it on, but maybe do it with a few others so you can help each other and maintain the learning years afterwards.

            Good luck.

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            • #7
              Unless your actively transporting Pts. Your EMR (assuming its like Emergency first responder) should be sufficient. your only there to assist the EMS and having the basics of PT care is important, however I see no need for any FD to require EMT unless they also run a gut bucket.
              It takes a little intelligence to enjoy humor,satire & wit, but none to be offended by it.

              It take more than a new Leather Helmet to make you a good officer

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              • #8
                In PA, EMR's are not allowed to administer oxygen. As high flow O2 is recommended for cardiac events, and several other ailments, it would seem that being able to administer oxygen is a good thing. In PA EMR's are also not allowed to package patients (backboards, collars, etc) as may be required at an MVA or fall victim. While we wait for an ambulance from 15 minutes away we want to be able to help the patient however possible.

                In our case, we also end up lending our EMT to the ambulance to fill out the crew (PA requires 2 medical with an EMT or higher in the back) about 1 out of every 3 EMS calls we have.

                It all depends on where you are, what your protocols are, and how you operate.

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