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emt? or Paramedic? Firefighters

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  • emt? or Paramedic? Firefighters

    do you think it is better to be a firefighter/EMT or a firefighter/EMTP?? i'm 17 and i start my EMT class on monday and then i want to get my paramedic but is it worth the money? and time? what arew your opinions?
    there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer!!

  • #2
    going the extra mile never hurts...

    Depending on what your plans are regarding the fire service, I would think having the EMT-P can only help you if you are going for a career.


    • #3

      ok let me redress my question. if ff is going to be my career it might as well it's my life and i wouldn't have it any other way. so would it be better to be a ff/emt or a ff/emtp?
      there is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer!!


      • #4
        In my area, Paramedic-level EMS is the exception rather than the rule. So, it won't get you very far around here. And yet it's a must in other places. I'd research your area- or the areas you might wind up in- before shelling out for the class.


        • #5
          Interesting Question......

          The question you have to ask FIRST is where do you want to work? Some departments require all new hires to be (or become, in a restricted time frame)Paramedics. Other departments do not concern themselves with EMS training at all. Look at what will be required of you when you check out job possibilities, If you like what you see, apply. Stay safe....
          Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
          In memory of
          Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
          Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

          IACOJ Budget Analyst

          I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.



          • #6
            Most departments around where I live require you to be a paramedic when hired or within 2 years...So i think it is smart to be a medic....this is just my two cents but if you pplan on being a medic get some experience as an EMT beforeyou go to medic school....

            Fail to plan. Plan to fail.

            FL EMT-B
            FL State Firefighter
            Pro Board Firefighter
            Career Firefighter
            Local 2103


            • #7
              It depends what you want to do with your career. What does the department you want to work for do? How do they run? The department I work for used to run ambulances and paramedics but gave them both up years ago. Now, they are kicking themselves for it. We are trying to get an ambulance back in our firehouses. Right now we run EMT-B First Response Engine Companies. I'm certified to the EMT-Intermediate level because of the Volunteer Department I'm a member of. I'm VERY limited to what skills I can use in my paid job. I can't use any Intermediate ALS skills until the medics, who don't ride an ambulance arrive. This month the job is going to send some more Firefighters through EMT-I class and get them certified to try and help our cause with the ambulance application process. I'd like to see our companies run as Intermediate First Responders as soon as possible.
              The department who runs our medics for us is a busy department. They also run the majority of our ambulance calls. We have 4 FDs who run ambluances. OFD & RFD (to diferentiate) run paramedics and ambluances. OFD runs 3 medic trucks and 6 ambulances. RFD runs 1 medic truck and 3 ambulances. OFD medics are running 18-20 calls a shift right now. The ambulances are running 10-15 calls a shift. RFD medics are running 8-12 calls a shift and the RFD ambulances are running 6-10 calls a shift. Our engine companies are running 4-8 calls a shift. This is just three of the nearly 10 departments in our County.
              What I'm getting at, is if you want to be busy, running a good amount of "good" calls, you should go to medic school. If you want to run calls, transports and taxi cab rides, stick to being an EMT. If you don't really want to ride an ambulance and don't have any ALS Engine companies in the department you want to work for, then stick to being an EMT.
              I'd like to run a bunch of calls, but not at night. Someday I'd like to go to Paramedic school, but with the way things are going now, I'm going to have to find a job with a different department if I want to do that.
              It's a choice you'll have to decide for yourself.



              • #8
                In general, the current trend seems to be leaning towards FF/Paramedics in a lot of places and a lot of the others are looking for a minimum of EMT. So depending on where you want to work, the Paramedic cert would provide you the most options.

                However, becoming a Paramedic is not something to rush into. Get your EMT, get some real EMS experience for at least a year (preferably two years) before you try for the Paramedic cert. Make sure it is what you want to do. Being a Paramedic carries a lot of responsibility and is not for everybody.

                Since you're only 17, don't rush yourself. There's plenty of time to find the job that fits you best.
                Firefighter / Paramedic
                IAFF Local 10


                • #9
                  Re: emt? or Paramedic? Firefighters

                  Originally posted by fireseeker04
                  do you think it is better to be a firefighter/EMT or a firefighter/EMTP?? i'm 17 and i start my EMT class on monday and then i want to get my paramedic but is it worth the money? and time? what arew your opinions?

                  Does your state have EMT-I? If so I would go for that, because you can do some advanced procedures, but not have all the training hours.
                  No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

                  IACOJ 2003


                  • #10
                    It really does depend on where you are or where you want to work. I am in the Mid-West and have some friends who just couldn’t get positions because they were only MFR’s or EMT-B’s. They either had to be paramedics to get hired or become a paramedic in the next 2 years.
                    Like some of the others said look at the area you want to work and see what they require. I am taking my Paramedic classes now and it isn’t something to rush into. Be sure that it’s what you want it is lots of responsibility.

                    Stay Safe,
                    The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn...


                    • #11
                      We had a similar post in the EMS General Forums.

                      Personally I believe that ALL FFs whether paid of vollie should at LEAST be trained to a FR level or even to EMT-B status. Now for the P-medic level is a different story. The cheapest that I've seen a Medic class for in the past year is $1400. Now that's alot of cash to be throwing around if there's a chance that you won't enjoy it. I would recommend taking the Basic and seeing how much you enjoy EMS. If you find that it's rather enjoyable then sure, try to Medic after awhile. But if you just absolutely dislike the EMS field then I wouldn't take the medic. With over $1000 and 1000hrs of clinicals it's alot for work to put in. Just think.....if you dont like something then you're not going to push yourself at it and the EMT-P takes alot of pushing. Just think it over before you sing up for it.

                      Jeremy Culver
                      IACOJ Bureau of EMS

                      These views are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of anyambulance service that I am affiliated with.

                      Help our fellow firefighters.
                      "Firefighters Helping Firefighters"


                      • #12
                        All of the responses to your question so far are extremely valid. Your question poses many more questions that only you can answer. I've found that being a paramedic "opens up" a lot of doors that otherwise may be closed. Good example - if you're a Memberzone subscriber you can see the number of job opportunities for Paramedic/Firefighters are numerous all over the country. Another strong benefit is the fact that most departments work 24/48 shifts. This allows you to make some "extra" cash if you so desire, believe me - the hourly wage for paramedic is a far cry from EMT-B no matter where in the country you call home. As stated, many departments nationwide provide ALS level care - and walking in with the gold patch is a plus because that means a given department doesn't have to send you to school. Now the "other" side. As you state, you're just starting your EMT-B course. You may find that EMS is not your bag at all, or perhaps you will realize that you really don't want to shoulder the responsibility that goes with being a paramedic. This is absolutely not saying that you won't be a great provider - but rather you would just be more comfortable operating at the EMT-B level. My advice as many of the other "seasoned" medics here would tell you... Spend a couple years as an EMT-B and get some good street time under your belt with a good medic partner if possible. This should answer many questions for you. Wherever your path leads, I wish you good luck!
                        Brian Rowe
                        Colleton County Fire/Rescue


                        • #13
                          Depends on location

                          It depends on where you are. In Florida a lot of departments are ALS Non-Transport, meaning they have ALS Engines. Paramedics are rare and firefighter emts are a dime a dozen. If you are a firefighter paramedic in Florida, you can pretty much get a job where ever you want.

                          My department on the other hand (in Florida) is not ALS...we are BLS non-transport and therefore there is no interest in Firefighter Paramedics.

                          A friend of mine is Deputy Chief in Isle of Capri and they do not require Paramedic or EMT.... You only have to be a first responder.

                          So the demand varies depending on location.
                          09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
                          IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
                          "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
                          BMI Investigator
                          The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.


                          • #14
                            It completely depends on where you want to work. My dept. only hires medics, as do alot in the mid-west. I spent 5 years in college, got two degrees, and a paramedic license. I've been a medic for 8 years, and I can't wait for the chance to get "promoted" to FF/ EMT status, seems like a step back, but it gets you off the ambo.

                            Do what I did, look for a FF / EMT job while you go thru medic school. Either way you will find work eventually.


                            • #15

                              Like most have said, it does depend where you want to
                              work. BUT, invest a few dollars into a fire jobs website
                              and look at the job market trend. Looks like over 90%
                              want Firefighter/Paramedic.

                              In California, everyone and their dog has an EMT-1 and
                              the market is demanding Paramedics. It is well worth
                              the investment in your career and job security should
                              be important to you. I think it would be the smart move
                              since you probably live with your parents and I am sure
                              they would help you out.


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