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Old 07-29-2007, 22:58   #1
MissAmericanPie
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Going for EMS training

I'm new to this forum, though I post in CT often. I have a request for you guys, if you do not mind.

I just lost a job "opportunity" for a nice safe position with regular hours and good benefits and I told myself that if I didn't get it, I was going to start EMT training because EMS is what I really want to do.

So, if you were going to try to talk someone out of it, what would you say to him? I need to hear all of the things I don't want to hear so I know I'm ready to jump into it headlong.

Fire away and thanks.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:33   #2
sixer
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Re: Going for EMS training

Quote:
Originally posted by MissAmericanPie
I'm new to this forum, though I post in CT often. I have a request for you guys, if you do not mind.

I just lost a job "opportunity" for a nice safe position with regular hours and good benefits and I told myself that if I didn't get it, I was going to start EMT training because EMS is what I really want to do.

So, if you were going to try to talk someone out of it, what would you say to him? I need to hear all of the things I don't want to hear so I know I'm ready to jump into it headlong.

Fire away and thanks.
My advice is do it. I've been working in EMS for about 9 months and I love it. I can't imagine myself doing anything else at this point. Theres sometimes days(or nights) that the job sucks, but it only takes one person saying thank you or just knowing I helped someone make up for it. I'm saving up the money for Paramedic school right now. Good Luck.
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Old 07-30-2007, 08:26   #3
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You want some cons? Majority of the calls are patients that are very stable and usually nothing happens. Patients will call for stupid things and do stupid things so don't say stupid things to the patient. Pay isn't that great compared to other fields. Bring an extra set of uniforms for your shift. There are several others but since I didn't get any sleep last night while on duty I can't think of much else.

Other than that it's a great job and I still love it after 12 years.
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by RyanNREMTP
You want some cons? Majority of the calls are patients that are very stable and usually nothing happens. Patients will call for stupid things and do stupid things so don't say stupid things to the patient. Pay isn't that great compared to other fields. Bring an extra set of uniforms for your shift. There are several others but since I didn't get any sleep last night while on duty I can't think of much else.

Other than that it's a great job and I still love it after 12 years.
A big +1 on that. The area I'm currently working in has a MAJOR problem with 911 abusers. Its a drag but when that "good call" goes out and you actually get to help someone it makes up for it. Another piece of advice I can give is try to find a company that runs 911/Fire calls, they'll pay less but you get first hand experience with the FD and their Paramedics.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:46   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by sixer
A big +1 on that. The area I'm currently working in has a MAJOR problem with 911 abusers. Its a drag but when that "good call" goes out and you actually get to help someone it makes up for it. Another piece of advice I can give is try to find a company that runs 911/Fire calls, they'll pay less but you get first hand experience with the FD and their Paramedics.
I'm calling the FD today since they are desperate for EMT volunteers. I was talking with one of our firefighters last night and he said that the dept. will reimburse me for a portion of the training costs, as well. That is a nice little perk, but I'm doing it anyway. I hope the dept. will take me since they vote on it.

Also, he was telling me about 911 abuse calls. One woman calls for ridiculous things such as band-aids!!

The nice thing is that the school that comes to me highly recommended (SOLO) is five minutes from my house. They offer community courses so as soon as one is available, I'm starting. I know several people who are EMT/Firefighters and not one person would do anything else. Everyone who does it seems to love it, even with the hardships that accompany it.

Thanks so much for the responses.
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Old 07-30-2007, 12:13   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissAmericanPie
I'm calling the FD today since they are desperate for EMT volunteers. I was talking with one of our firefighters last night and he said that the dept. will reimburse me for a portion of the training costs, as well. That is a nice little perk, but I'm doing it anyway. I hope the dept. will take me since they vote on it.

Also, he was telling me about 911 abuse calls. One woman calls for ridiculous things such as band-aids!!

The nice thing is that the school that comes to me highly recommended (SOLO) is five minutes from my house. They offer community courses so as soon as one is available, I'm starting. I know several people who are EMT/Firefighters and not one person would do anything else. Everyone who does it seems to love it, even with the hardships that accompany it.

Thanks so much for the responses.
I'd love to volunteer for one of my local FD's but their never lacking in willing volunteers. I'm on some wait list, so who knows. Speaking of 911 abusers, we had a call for an older male the other night. I can't remember what it was dispatched as but we get on scene and the guy asks one of the ff's if he could hand him a glass of water because he was too tired to get out of bed to get it. Thats why he called. We have another one, I've memorized his address so when I hear it go over the radio, we mentally get ready for a long wait at one of the local hospitals. I was talking to one of the Captains about this 911 abuser and asked him if they kept records on how many times they'd been called to that address in a year, he said 260+ times.
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Old 07-31-2007, 18:12   #7
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The worst (this is how I feel on the most cynical and jaded of days):

All you are is a taxicab with a cot in the back, and you don't get tips.

You're gonna discover a bodily fluid that you can't stand, because within 6 months you'll have been exposed multiple times to every possible substance that can exit a human being (along with several that shouldn't).

Your back is gonna be torn up. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Sleep is going to be a nice memory, that you used to get "back in the day".

No one appreciates what you do for a living. You're an inconvenient box that runs ppl off the road.

People you know and love like brothers/sisters are probably going to die sometime in your career. Especially true in fire based EMS.


Having said all that, after 5 years I don't regret a thing. If you can deal with the above, good luck to ya!
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Old 07-31-2007, 20:14   #8
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Enjoy it while your body lasts. This could be weeks or years because many people that you will have haul around will weigh more than you.

Hours are long, pay in most cases are just token. You will get minimal to no respect from others in the medical field.

Psych patients will drive you up the wall. It does not matter how many times you lecture them on the correct way to commit suicide they still just play around at hurting themselves. Bunch of losers!!

I had one in town that called us about five times each weak for the last three years for suicidal tendencies. She fell and broke her shoulder last week. The other day she accidentally OD on pain meds and died. Poetic justice.

It is a good day when you get a bunch of real 911 calls. Its a bad day when you get stuck with a bunch of calls to those storage facilities for discarded humans ie Nursing Homes.
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Old 07-31-2007, 23:17   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by 4095fanatic
The worst (this is how I feel on the most cynical and jaded of days):

All you are is a taxicab with a cot in the back, and you don't get tips.

You're gonna discover a bodily fluid that you can't stand, because within 6 months you'll have been exposed multiple times to every possible substance that can exit a human being (along with several that shouldn't).

Your back is gonna be torn up. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Sleep is going to be a nice memory, that you used to get "back in the day".

No one appreciates what you do for a living. You're an inconvenient box that runs ppl off the road.

People you know and love like brothers/sisters are probably going to die sometime in your career. Especially true in fire based EMS.


Having said all that, after 5 years I don't regret a thing. If you can deal with the above, good luck to ya!
I guess I have to step up the workouts. Know any good back exercises?

Ya' haven't scared me yet. But I truly appreciate your responses. I hope I keep getting more of this.

My class starts Sept. 9. It is Mon. through Fri. from 8:15 to 5:00. It is Wilderness EMT which is Basic EMT plus wilderness rescue. It is 161 hours (28 days). The school just plucked a heart attack victim off of a mountain today with Fish and Game and some area rescue crews. It sounds like I'll get some pretty good experience.

I just spoke to the Fire/Rescue Captain in my town today. He suggested I come to the Rescue meeting next week and fill out the volunteer paperwork and he is calling the school for me to verify that it is the appropriate course so I do not waste my money (I am certain that it is.). Damn, it is sooo expensive - $2020.

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.
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Old 08-01-2007, 00:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissAmericanPie
snip... Damn, it is sooo expensive - $2020. snip...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.
Damn $2020, I thought I paid alot and I went to UCLA's program. Isn't there a Community College around you that offers EMT-B? I don't know about your area but $2020 sounds like alot for just EMT-B and wilderness training. lf thats the best option for you I guess you should do it. Save your money for a good Paramedic school, if you go that way.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:16   #11
MissAmericanPie
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Quote:
Originally posted by sixer
Damn $2020, I thought I paid alot and I went to UCLA's program. Isn't there a Community College around you that offers EMT-B? I don't know about your area but $2020 sounds like alot for just EMT-B and wilderness training. lf thats the best option for you I guess you should do it. Save your money for a good Paramedic school, if you go that way.
The FD has a contract with them and they said that it is really the only place within 1 1/2 hours that offers it. The captain was shocked as well, since the school usually offers "community programs" for people who live in the area and they are much cheaper - $895 or so. But they aren't offering any this year since there is a problem with simply getting instructors to teach the class at night. That program is spread out over a few months.

I'm going to go for it. The FD will give me $500 for the training. They would give me more he said but they are really strapped for cash and he said he appreciates my willingness to pay so much. But I'm just going to pay for it. My husband is fine with it. It is what it is.

The school comes highly recommended. It is called SOLO and people come from different states to attend. This is likely where I will get my "I" and my paramedic, if I like the school.
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:29   #12
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Sixer,

What is the population of the town/city in which you work? I am wondering what the calls will be like. I have an idea with rescue, our population is about 2,000, but eventually I would like a paid job with an ambulance service (there are two in the immediate area and others with a little drive).

I know that some who have posted live in metro areas or with higher populations. The ambulance services here cover several towns, and one of them probably services a collective population of about 15,000, including the tourist population in the summer and winter.

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:02   #13
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The last time that I instructed a EMT-B class the Hospital charged 550.00 and the Paramedic was 1050.00. It has been three years since I stopped teaching, I bet the price has gone up.


I know that our prices were much cheaper than the Community Collage. Training was also much better. My students could go to work as soon as their license was in hand. The Community College EMT's would have to do time orientating before they could start functioning.
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:30   #14
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I think the local EMT class is about $400 or so and the EMT-I is just a little higher. Paramedic class when I took it was $1800. Usually this is just the class only, not books and uniforms.

My area has a population of 200,000. We cover I believe just over half of the county with the main area being 7 cities that our service has a contract with. I don't know call volume since our run numbers include all of the other counties that ETMC covers. Last year is was over 180,000 calls.
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Old 08-01-2007, 07:50   #15
sixer
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissAmericanPie
Sixer,

What is the population of the town/city in which you work? I am wondering what the calls will be like. I have an idea with rescue, our population is about 2,000, but eventually I would like a paid job with an ambulance service (there are two in the immediate area and others with a little drive).

I know that some who have posted live in metro areas or with higher populations. The ambulance services here cover several towns, and one of them probably services a collective population of about 15,000, including the tourist population in the summer and winter.

Thanks.
The company I'm currently working for covers two city's in Los Angeles County and were the 911 transport and BLS provider for both city's. The population of both are in the neighborhood of 250,000. This is the school I went too. If SOLO is the only provider in your area and they come recommened by the FD then I doubt you can go wrong attending.

I can't speak for your area but in LA county theres three diffrent 'kind' of ambulance companies you can work for. One that only run IFT's. One that runs both 911 and IFT's. And one that only runs 911. The pay (I've looked around) is highest at the IFT only companies, and lowest at the 911 only companies. Still crap for what we all have to be exposed to and deal with.

I choose to work for a company that runs both IFT and 911. I got tired of running IFT's and moved to the other city they cover, in which they only run 911 calls along with the Fire Department. I think you'll really enjoy your time in EMS. You'll develop a strong 'taste' for dark humor and get your mental 'wall' setup to have to deal with death and the like. Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:32   #16
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wait till you get called out at 3am, code 3, only to arrive and be asked to go pick up chicken soup for the pt. gotta love it.



not to hijack the thread, but
RyanNREMTP, do you know any basics from West?
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:22   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by seabrookglocker
not to hijack the thread, but
RyanNREMTP, do you know any basics from West?
I know a few, I volunteer up there every third blue moon.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:35   #18
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this is a love/hate job. either you love it and stay with it a long time or you hate it and end the job quickly. these guys havent mentioned about how dishearting it is when you have worked a code for 30-45 min just to walk into the ER and the doc looks at you and turns to the nurse and says note the time. tells you that you did a good job and then turns and walks away without doing much of anything. they havent told you about how you never forget your first trauma code or trauma fatality. how no matter how hard you try the faces and scenes of the dead come back to haunt you time to time. they havent told you about the sleepless nights not from running calls but from not being able to get those images out of your head. or how people look at you when you did everything you could but still couldnt save there loved one.
there is a lot in this job that can kill you and i dont mean just the calls. there is a reason fire/ems/police have the highest divorce, suicide, and heart attack rates in the US. it is one of the most stressful jobs you can have. the thing is to try and forget the bad and remember that every once and a while someone will actually say thank you and actually mean it. those are the good days.
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:42   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by 4095fanatic


Your back is gonna be torn up. Enjoy it while it lasts.
MEDIC= My Education Doesn't Include Carrying

Other than that, the big downsides have been hit on, especially the 911 abusers. A couple months ago we were dispatched to someone who had a bad dream.
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Old 08-01-2007, 15:08   #20
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Learn to lift with your legs. This is crucial. I'd spend at least 12 hours practicing lifting a stretcher to make sure you get it right.
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