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Walter Perrell

Helping a new paramedic get his foot in the door.

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Hi all, as you can tell I'm new to the forum and new to the world of EMS. I recently got my certification in September and I have been searching for employment ever since. I live in Citrus County FLA but am willing to work in the surrounding counties or for private agencies and hospitals. I have filled out dozens of applications and I have had no luck getting anywhere. I volunteer for citrus county fire department and in January will start the fire academy. No matter where I go I am only met with rejection. In the very early stages of the application process I usually get rejected or I never hear anything back. I have a very nice letter of recommendation from my paramedic instructor who is very well known in the field and the same qualifications as my classmates and still I have not been hired.

I was hoping someone in the field could give me advice on how to get my foot in the door before it is slammed shut in my face. I felt after graduating that with my degree and some experience as a CNA I would be a shoe in for a hospital, and I assumed that with my friends at a local private EMS provider I would be a shoe in there as well. Currently I'm considering employment at a gas station to generate some income to pay the bills since I didn't think it would take this long to find some job. Everyone wants experience, but apparently my volunteering for a BLS fire department doesn't count and no one is willing to give me a chance. Most if not all of my classmates have jobs now and we all graduated the same time and I passed the state exam before some of them. Help!

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Well to be perfectly honest working as a volunteer EMT is not adequate experience, especially for a paramedic. Working as a CNA doesn't cut it either. It is very possible that these agencies aren't willing to take the risk on you because training a new paramedic is a sometimes lengthy and expensive process.

There could be some other red flag as well, who knows. I would suggest calling a few places that rejected you and ask how you can improve your application. Find out what the issue was and work on fixing that. You can't do too much about your lack of experience at this point, best bet is to just apply broadly and make every other aspect of your application shine.

Best of luck!

Edited by fiznat

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Yeah man, you will need to supply more information...

Depending on where you live specifically, and the type of system that you want to run in, a few possibilities might be..

To white, or to black.

To male, or to female.

To gay, or to straight.

To fat, or to skinny.

To slutty, or not slept around enough to hit the right people.

To educated or not educated enough.

But one thing is for sure...if you're whole class is employed, and you're not, there is something significant that you're missing. Have you thought about looking a few of them up and asking them?

Dwayne

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I wish I knew why I was being rejected.

I would really like to get some ALS experience but no one will give me a chance. Is there any other way to gain field experience without lucking out and getting a job in the field? I know the CNA history is useless in most venues, but I was hoping it would help get a patient care tech job. Volunteer fire fighter was more for the gaining of a fire cert. rather then "experience".

Well a lot of my class was currently employed with a county fire department and looking for promotion, and another large portion of the class was female. So like you said Dwayne the demographics are there, since I am a white male between the ages of 25-35, to essentially fall through the cracks. I've contacted a few of the employers, one nicely explained there position on experience and another rudely said they don't give out that information.

Are there any other certs I should get to help make my resume stand out?

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Florida is largely a dual-role Fire/EMS model ... and as you said you're a white male between the ages of 25-35 so um yeah .... you're pretty buggered mate

Just don't let me see you on COPS running from Broward County Sheriff or something ....

Good luck :thumbsup:

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Walter,

Your volunteering should be used as opportunities to network. The more you network, the better off you are. (See DwayneEMT's recent post about how he got to Mongolia.)

Not sure if this is applicable to you and your area, but you may need to find a more rural service that is hurting for staff. Of the dozen or so people who graduated from my class in Dec '10, some are working for private services, 2 made it to the cities' large service (and one of them just recently was hired on), some moved on to something else and the rest of us are making a drive out to a rural service. I have up to a 2 hour drive for a 48/96 shift, but it turns out to have been a good decision.

After I was hired in, I was told that there had been discussion on my lack of paramedic experience and the fear that I would only be hiring in to gain experience to only then move to another service. But, my professionalism during the interview (I was the only one of two wearing a suit) was a deciding factor. I'm guessing that was the first step to earning some trust...

Another thing I would suggest is your contacting each service you wish to work and asking to do a ride out. This will be a KEY opportunity for you to start networking with is KEY to getting a job, in my opinion.

Toni

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Ok from experience with FL and the EMS system there let me give you a little advice. FL is mostly Fire based EMS and if you are applying to a FD they won't even look at your app if you do not have the FL FF Standard Certs. Best avenue for you is possibly consider moving to another part or face a long commute. There are very few county EMS services left.

However there is hope for you my friend.

Lee Co EMS in Ft Myers Beach is a county EMS, no fire.

EVAC in Daytona Beach is EMS and no fire.

Rural/Metro in Orlando and West Palm Beach is EMS and no fire.

Orange Co FD in Orlando will usually hire for strictly EMS just watch their website.

Lake Sumter EMS is not fire based.

And of course the largest private service in FL is Sunstar in Pinellas Co which of course is Tampa Bay. They will hire you tomorrow if you just apply. They are always looking for people.

There are not many more that I can think of right off hand but what I did was find a county map of Florida and then I searched indivudually on the net for what kind of service they ran. Most of them have decent sized citites in them and you can search for that city and get a lot of info about police, fire and EMS.

Also, Okaloosa Co and Escambia Co have straight EMS services but that's way up in the panhandle.

Good luck and I hope this helps mate!!!

Eric

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Thank you everyone for all of your advice. Kiwi yes a lot of Fla is fire/ems so i am in the process of getting fire certs but i can't start that until january. tcrip thank you for the advice on the ride outs and professionalism, I will acquire a suit so in the event of an interview I will be better prepared. I have contacted rural counties, and they were the polite ones who told me they required at least 6 months experience. In fact, I was able to contact them directly because of a network, my captain and that counties chief were friends, which was also why he was nice and explained his status.

Gulfmedic I have applied for Sunstar and attempted to contact a Sunstar recruiter and I have heard nothing. Rural/Metro has taken over Lake Sumter but I haven't heard form them either. I will try the map idea to find more possibilities. Thank you all for your help.

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Failing all else, perhaps you just need to get out of Florida.

Good luck.

Edited by paramedicmike

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