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I attended paramedic school at age 49, after a successful 23 year career in systems consulting and I too graduated at the top of my class. Guess what? I could not get a job. It had to do with the fact that I was not plugged into the young boy's network. I was too opinionated and was a threat to a lot of the status quo. I did ride time at a very good hospital based system and was devastated when I was not offered a job. I asked the director what I had done wrong. He told me that I would be difficult to integrate into the service because a lot of the existing medics resented the fact that I had options. (he meant, F**k you money.) I was doing it for love of the field.

I moved out of state and took a job where the grueling call volumes, gnarly calls, and crappy pay made them welcome anyone with a cert crazy enough to work there. I made it work. The company has made major changes. We have great equipment, the best pay in this part of the country (more than fire) and high standards. I run CCT now, love the job and am delighted with how things worked out.

Be flexible, keep looking and have faith. Your obvious intelligence and passion for the field will get you where you need to be.

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I say go for it! Good for you for doing something you have always wanted to do. I feel age should not make a difference, as we have many EMRs and PCP in our service that have retired from a different job, but wanted to persue a career in EMS.

All the best to you and good luck!

Brian

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Age doesnt matter, but your engineering background may be a problem. I hired 6 retired engineers over the years and all of them flopped as medics, as they can not think in grey, only black and white. Maybe I picked the wrong 6, but it was weird that all of them had issues.

Otherwise I would hire an older person over a younger person every day of the week.

Quite conundrum crotch:

If you would you not hire another engineer = that is engineer discrimination and stereotyping based on educational history.

But: You would hire a "older" over a "younger" = defines age discrimination.

PS crazydocbob ... follow your heart, follow your dreams.

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Am I fooling myself thinking that I can start a new career at this stage of the game ? I love being an EMT and I love even more what I've learned and experienced as a paramedic intern.

Anyone have any encouraging experiences ?

I started the Paramedic program at the age of 43 (very soon after turning 44). I graduated the program at 45 that December. In March, I interviewed for a rural 911 service about 1.5+ hours from my home. I tested at the same level (both written, skills, and physical) as the 20 year old. I just celebrated my 1 year anniversary with them.

I don't think age is the issue. As a matter of fact, I'm told often that they are glad to see some maturity and stability. Being "green", however, would have been a problem. Thank goodness for my experience as a basic prior to going to school.

Toni

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I'm sixty tow years young and I've been a volunteer EMT for 34 years, an instructor for 30 of those, and an IC for 15 of those.

I recently retired from my full time career as an engineer to pursue my dream of becoming a paramedic. I'm less than a week from my state certification, and less than a month from my regional certification. I'm at the top of my paramedic class. I've been applying for jobs, mostly as an EMT with hopes for an upgrade and with all my years of experience, I've been running into brick walls. I'm beginning to face the fact that perhaps my age is being held against me. I'm in the best shape I've been in 20 years and many tell me I look 10-15 years younger than my age. I'm in the gym every day lifting and running.

I see some of the younger EMT's on the street and the shape they're in, some are MI's waiting to happen, and their skills as EMT's are meager at best. I wonder how someone like that has no problem getting hired and I can't seem to get anywhere.

Am I fooling myself thinking that I can start a new career at this stage of the game ? I love being an EMT and I love even more what I've learned and experienced as a paramedic intern.

Anyone have any encouraging experiences ?

Many people are agists & it's going to be difficult. I do admire your desire to fulfill your dreams. Good luck and all the best...

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My two cents worth, I'd rather have an well seasoned partner than a young one any day. While you may not have the medical experience, you have life experience and sometimes that is just important. As it was pointed out before by someone else, try to remember in EMS there is alot of grey and colors, try not to think in just black and white. Nothing will be as cut and dried as it seems in Paramedic school.

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Just an update for those of you kind enough to offer your encouragement. Since initiating my post almost a yeaar ago, I have been working per diem for a large ambulance company but I haven't been doing the 911 type calls which I need to sharpen my skills as a paramedic. Unfortunately the vollie service I still work at doesn't have enough medics to partner up with and so I can still only work BLS. I've applied to several hospital based systems with no luck.

I applied to the NY City Fire Dept Bureau of EMS and was called from the civil service list to take the department's physical agility test which I passed easily. After completing the department's physical I was interviewed and examined by the department doctor who proceeded to tell me that "the fire department doesn't like to hire 'old guys'" after which he proceeded to place me on hold pending the results of my taking a nuclear stress test (at my own expense) and getting a letter from my personal physician stating that I can perform the job (which I thought was the purpose of the physical agility test).

I intend on getting the test and an ok from my doctor, but just hearing these words form a fire department physician just blew me away.

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Wish you nothing but the best. Hang in there. Keep in contact here on the boards.

Became an EMT-B at 60, wish I had done it earlier. Age usually means maturity and it can play in your favor. Just hang in there!! BTW have you spoken with the vollie team at Central Islip about riding during the day?

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You might have to look for a right to work state.

I am not sure that they can legally call you an "old guy" when turning you down for a job. The USA is still a country of laws.

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They are not going to cte that as the reason, because they would be sued, but I bet you are a victim of age discrimination. Thoughts that could be in the younger manager's head: you could be more likely to be a work comp problem, you could be more forgetfull, because you were trained so long ago, your skills may not be up to today's standard; or more likely: the younger manager fears you are smarter or more experienced than them ---- I bet discrimination is at play. Try for training/instructor jobs instead of EMS jobs. Sad but true.

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