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Tommymac

Wanting to get some advice on becoming a Paramedic

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I already have my EMT-B. I am planning on attending my local school in Southern PA as soon as I get back from my Family. I am 20 years old, will be 21 in July. I would like some advice on the field. The Do's/Dont's or things I should keep up on so that way, when I finish school I wont have too much trouble finding a spot with a company.

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Stay out of trouble. Don't get a DWI or DUI

Don't get arrested

Get a degree versus a certificate - think college

NOT directed at you but at everyone (me included) Grammar grammar grammar and spelling spelling spelling, learn to write a cohesive story

Work out and strengthen your lower back and your abdominal muscles

Get a hobby other than EMS. Don't live breathe and eat EMS. When you are off work, don't live at the EMS station. You will look like a loser.

Limit the stuff you have on your belt. Do you really need to have all those hemostats and different types of shears?

Don't go all out and buy hundreds of apps on your smart phone that are EMS related, you really only need one or two.

Don't get a God complex, remember, you are NOT the stud that you think you are.

And by all means, have fun and don't take yourself as a medic too seriously.

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What about jobs? Are there any tips with getting on with a fire department. Since the last posing I have decided to attend a school in Nothern VA (It offers a degree and closer to my family). Would it be dumb to apply to places hundreds or even thousands of miles away? (FDNY, Boston, Chicago, LA etc..). The area around the school isnt really needing paramedics right now and after doing my ride along with a Private, I would really like to stay away.

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Sometimes you won't have a choice but to relocate. We chose a field with high competition and few jobs. Unless you plan to just volunteer you might have to look for jobs hundreds or thousands of miles away. And when you test, leave your volunteer department or fire science shirts at home. It makes you look like a noob and gives you 0 advantage for a job.

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The big city departments will take in an average of several thousand applications for every hire they get funded for.. FDNY you would be at the bottom of the pile of thousands of EMS providers. that means harlem , or huntspoint on the graveyard .

Boston EMS is a separate entity from fire. Even if you are a medic, you hire on as a basic and when they decide your ready you go to their academy to be brought up as a Paramedic.

You would stand a better chance at expanding your horizons into some other areas that do Prehospital care well in the fire service if that is your goal. Getting your Paramedicine degree will not guarantee getting hired. Lots of cutbacks and layoff in the fire service lately. FF's cost serious $$ in a town or cities budget, $$$ that aren't there any more.

So my recommendation to you is DO some research and homework first.

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Yeah, I remember back when I just got my medic, I applied at 8 different departments. 6 were fire departments and 2 were hospital based EMS Systems.

250 + people for each fire department job

3 people for the 5 hospital based EMS jobs.

Guess which job I got.

Looking at the people trying out for the fire jobs, it's a wonder why buildings survived the fire.

Now adays the numbers are worse but the hospital based EMS jobs in my area, you are lucky to get one or two applicants a week. Why is that?

Better hours, better pay and often times better benefits come with the hospital based ems jobs but not the private EMS jobs.

I was told of one fire department that had 2 openings and they had 5000 applicants. Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed does it.

Do your homework, fire based EMS is not all it's cracked up to be, but if you want to go that route, you should be prepared to prove to that fire department why they should hire you. ACE the pre-employment test if they give one, Get top performance in the physical agility test and then make sure you know someone in a very very high place in city government that can put in a good word for you(hey I hear rumors).

If you do get hired, Kudos for you. Congrats and don't become a hose jockey, make sure you always keep learning and always keep wanting to advance in your career. You'll meet a lot of dead end medics/emt's and others in this business where they are happy being where they are. That's not you I don't believe.

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