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Wake Up Call!

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  • Wake Up Call!

    Topic: Wake Up Call!

    Date: July 14, 2001 11:12 AM
    Author: "Captain Bob" ([email protected])

    The time is now!

    Several departments are not getting enough applications for their fire/medic testing. One large northern California department wanted to hire 18 fire/medics and ended up with an academy of only nine. I encouraged candidates more than two years ago that this could happen. Because of mandated medic programs, dropping the residency requirements for cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and others, it has happened faster than anyone expected. If you're beating your head against the wall trying to get hired, run, don't walk to get into medic school.

    Yes, you will hear if you don't want to be a medic, don't become one just to get the job.

    Should you become a paramedic to get a firefighter job?

    If you understand that there are 500-800 candidates for each firefighter job, that you could be running out of hope, the love of your life is not going to wait any longer unless she has a ring and a date, been the frequent flyer mileage king flying all over the country and unsuccessfully taking tests, your biggest income last year came from your credit cards. You have lost friends and relatives. Don't know how you're going to live without the job of your dreams. Can afford to take the time and loss of income to make it happen. Have a supporting partner. Know you would have to spend about a year getting certified and it will be the toughest thing you have ever done. A relative will pay for your education. Have GI Bill education money. Can get a student loan. Know that 80% of the job offerings now are for fire medics and up to 75% of our calls are ems related anyway. Know that even if you become a medic, you still may never get this job. Have been riding ambulance anyway and this will pave the way into many medic schools. Aren't going to take the chance of some college programs that only take 35 people a year and receive over 200 applications. Will step up and pay the $7,000 plus dollars to be in and out of a program in about a year. You're an energizer bunny who will keep going and going and going when others' would stop. Know that if you were a medic taking a regular firefighter entrance test you would probably get a better shot. Won't be happy until you can puff your chest out with a badge and have people wave at you in the jump seats, carrying on a family tradition. Want that shift work with great benefits that go way into retirement. A career position with chances of advancement. The opportunity to use the education and experience you have already gained and can continue. To work for a department that could offer you everything a firefighter could hope for. Calls that would cover anything from air land and sea. A place where you couldn't wait to get back from your days off. Being able to go from one call to another to another on a busy rig. Believe me there is nothing like it.

    I know you will hear that if you really don't want to be a medic don't just do it to get the job. But, If you answered yes to the majority of the above there is no doubt where you will be the happiest. If I were in your position I would beg, borrow, and run with my afterburners on to get to medic school! Because unlike a regular entry level test where there are 500-800 candidates for each job, there are only 20 candidates for every fire medic job. It is by far your fastest way to the badge.

    Who's Making the Decisions? This should be a wake up call if you want to get hired. Those candidates who might not be the best in the world have figured out if you want a badge, go to medic school. This, while too many other candidates are beating their heads against the wall trying to find their way through the maze with the army of other candidates.

    It wasn't long ago there were enough medics. Now, medics are being hired when they are certified. Some can take a fire/medic test while they are still in medic school.

    You know what they call the lowest scoring student who graduates from medic school? Paramedic. Patients on the street are not going to ask what medic school they attended or about their scores.

    Large and small cities who were still trying to hold on to hiring under their affirmative action programs are having difficulty meeting public demand by hiring medics. You have seen these cities giving medic and lateral testing only. They need seasoned medic's NOW!

    With several rounds of hiring by the big cities, the supply of these seasoned medics has dwindled. Where are they going to turn to next? YOU; AS YOU COMPLETE MEDIC SCHOOL.

    The problem has stripped the available medics at AMR. In one Northern California County this weekend, AMR was only able to staff 3 rigs; when they normally had nine. This same area had to send out engines, that normally carry paramedics, with EMT's.

    Some of our medic candidates (three this week) are getting multiple job offers.

    Could the message be any clearer?

    Absolutely nothing counts 'til you have the badge. Nothing!

    "Captain Bob"

  • #2
    Captain Bob is absolutley correct. My department is almost 100% paramedic now, there are only about 4 FF'rs left and they should become medics in the next couple of yr's.

    We require FF II and Paramedic prior to appyling these days. It sometimes narrows the field almost too much, but that is the way things are.

    Most of the new hires we get are fresh out of medic school and have limited firefighting background, but that is what the Cities are looking for, it saves them big bucks to hire pre-trainined people and not have to worry about in house training.
    Front line since 1983 and still going strong


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