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i posted another thread about becoming a firefighter... i was just wondering about being a EMS paramedic... is the job about as easy or hard to get as becoming a firefighter? is the school more lengthy? i am just tired of having a degree and working part-time at a bakery and part-time at a gun shop.. i would love to just run the gun shop i work at but that wont happen... plus i dont make enough to live off of there..
Fastest you can get your Paramedic cert is 1 year of full time school and clinicals. Many city fire departments are the ones that staff the medics, so getting on with a department is the key. My city for example, you get on as a fire fighter, then after 2 years you can promote to medic and they pay for your medic class.
Depending upon where you live, the time it takes to get into EMS as a Paramedic can range from just under a year to a couple of years. Generally you need to be an EMT first and then get some EMT experience and THEN apply for medic school.
Here in California, you can go from a guy on the street to a Paramedic in about 1 year. There is no statutory requirement for EMT experience, just an EMT cert prior to applying to a medic school.
Once you are accepted into medic school, it can take anywhere from 6 mos to a year or more to complete the training. This mostly depends upon the didactic (classroom) training schedule. Once that's basically done, (480 hours) you still have 160 hours of clinical time and 640 (minimum) hours on the street doing an internship. You'd do MUCH better with good EMT experience as your preceptors do NOT want to have to train you to be an EMT and then have to train you to be a Paramedic. They want to tune up your BLS skills and go straight into teaching you how to be a medic.
The general trend where I live is for the Fire Departments to hire Paramedics. For them, it's much cheaper to take a medic and train them to be a Firefighter than it is to take a Firefighter and train them to be a Paramedic.
Unfortunately, this trend also leads to a lot of people who want to be Firefighters to become medics. This can lead to poor patient care as they often do just enough to get hired as a Firefighter. Not a bash on FF/P's, but on those that became Paramedics just so they could be Firefighters.
I want to emphasize what someone else said about EMT experience first. It is extremely hard to go from EMT school to Paramedic school with no field experience. I unfortunately went this route and now I am haveing a hard time in the field. I am just now starting to be where I should have been over a year ago when I finished medic school. A lot of places wont allow you to enter the medic program unless you have a certain ammount of experience. Please make sure that you have at least 6 months of good experience, and if you are a volunteer than only runs a few calls a week, make sure its at least a year of some calls.
Just my humble and first handed experience ;-)
Around here in the old days you had to have two years as a EMT-A and a ALS Sponsor to get into a medic class.
Now that the programs have moved from the EMS Systems to the Collages the quality and experience of the Medics has dropped.
When I ran my County Ambulance Service I would not hire any of these guys. I was always short handed and need people on the street asap.unfortunately I just did not have the time to keep them on orientation very long.
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