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Any EMTs here?

shibbershabber

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Looking for some advice ...

Considering becoming an EMT.

Anyone want to talk me out of it?
As a career, not the actual work itself...

Whats the job market like around here?
Pay scale?

Any other pieces of wisdom?
 

gryghin

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Unlike other medical professionals, the National certification wasn't accepted everywhere... but my info is based on the early 90s. Hopefully, that's changed by now.

I checked into it back when I first moved West. Ambulances are private company. A lot of fire departments have EMTs but it is more of a collateral duty.

Keep in mind my info is 20+ year out.

Hopefully, actual current First Responders will reply.
 
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Fiance went through the emt program, unless it's your means to an end such as fire or paramedic, pay is low, and hours are long, sometimes sitting all night in a rig.
From the circle of people I know emt is almost always a step towards a career.
Last I heard starting pay is 14-16
 

Alexx1401

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So many want to do it the pay is very poor and they are treated poorly. If you want to get on with one of the Fire Departments it is one way to do it but, pay and job suck while doing so. If you want to get on with a Fire Dept there is a far better way pay wise. Since it is very hard to get on with one. Are you looking at getting on with fire?
 

Tarawa86

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From what I've read the pay is terrible as mentioned above. Don't know how old you are but I've seen people in other forums mention the EMT (you get to know many LEO's) > EMT + Reserve Sheriff > Full time police officer route.

Personal anecdote: I had to drive a tow truck for a bit during the mid 2000's during the downturn. Met one girl who was going through the training with Metro West when I had to tow her ambulance van thing because she got t-boned (not her fault) at an intersection in Portland. She told me she was probably going to be fired because Metro West lets any trainee go after 2 incidents, no matter the fault. Her first incident was a lift failed when she was lowering someone down and *she* got hurt catching them, and the wreck would be her second. Apparently, the company feels 2 incidents regardless of fault makes one 'accident prone'.

Now, I don't know if this is actually true, but you usually only see that kind of behavior in low-pay+low-skill+high-demand sort of fields.
 
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I did it full time for about 10 years in the Medford area. Pay was terrible, as were the hours and working conditions. Was routinely assaulted, management couldn't have cared less. It's fine as a stepping stone to a fire job and some damn fine life experience but it is no career, even going paramedic. Private ambulances are just abysmal places to work. If you really want to go into medicine, go RN. Same amount of school as Paramedic, almost double starting wage out the door, lots of different directions you can go where EMS is pretty much just EMS. And if you want to do pre-hospital you have more options for flight nurse and you can still get standing orders to work a ground ambulance the same as a medic in Oregon. When I left the field it took me a couple years to get over my general disdain for humanity. Just two cents from an old burned out medic....
 

gryghin

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Is this the kind of training and experience you can get in the Army?
I got my EMT training after I was already an Electronics Technician in the Navy. Navy paid for my training.

I'm sure other branches have similar opportunities.
 
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Last year My son completed his EMT course. He went from making 50 g's to making $15 bucks an hour. He works part time as a Fire Fighter and part time at an indian casino. His end goal is to be a fire fighter / Parametic. He is making enough money to stay in school, But as an EMT he would not be making it.
To the OP If you have an end goal and EMT is a means to get you there by all means go for it, But as a long term carreer it doesn't pay well. Good Luck.DR
 
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I was an EMT back in the early days of emergency medicine back in 1979 to 1987. I was a volunteer in the Fire Department and they paid for us to get the certifications. I went to EMT 3 level. It was OK, it got me able to work shift coverage at other local departments for decent money then. .

Pretty much what every body else says about EMTS now. Pay is low, you are basically an BLS provider somewhere on a band aid box car. You are not going to be providing ALS services at all.

My son is a sole role paramedic in a fire department in Central Oregon and makes about 60K a year in his first year. Took him 2 years of applying and testing at several departments and some rejections until he landed where he is. Good benefits and job security. You will make half that maybe in the private side.

Everything you read negative is pretty much true, private ambulance companies like Metro Worst and Falck are all low bid ho's who focus on the bottom line and have no problem providing the lowest level of service they can. Everything is always in a constant state of turmoil and drama.

Go for paramedic level but be prepared for intense competition in the job search at all levels even private.
 
OP
S

shibbershabber

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Im looking to get into something different soon when my youngest goes to school this fall.
Right now I work an odd schedule with some days opposite of my wife so we dont have to pay full week daycare...
But once she is in school I can go back to full time.

EMT sounded interesting & Im no stranger to human misery, poverty, crazy people, dealing with drunks, etc.
I thought Id get EMT cert and try it out, then do the 2yr paramedic degree.

Physically, firefighting isnt going to happen for me anymore, so thats probably out.

Unless depts run EMS only units...

Right now my current work will more or less top out at $20/hr. Ive read that in this area emt starts at a little over $30k/yr and paras can start around $45k/yr ..... Which for a guy used to making $30k, is acceptable.
 

Alexx1401

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Im looking to get into something different soon when my youngest goes to school this fall.
Right now I work an odd schedule with some days opposite of my wife so we dont have to pay full week daycare...
But once she is in school I can go back to full time.

EMT sounded interesting & Im no stranger to human misery, poverty, crazy people, dealing with drunks, etc.
I thought Id get EMT cert and try it out, then do the 2yr paramedic degree.

Physically, firefighting isnt going to happen for me anymore, so thats probably out.

Unless depts run EMS only units...

Right now my current work will more or less top out at $20/hr. Ive read that in this area emt starts at a little over $30k/yr and paras can start around $45k/yr ..... Which for a guy used to making $30k, is acceptable.
If you can't pass the tests the FD are not going to hire you so that's out. If you want to work with people in the medical field check into becoming an Emergency Room Tech. Just need a CNA license which is simple to get. Then you can make far more money than any of the Medic Co's are going to pay you and get VERY good insurance.
 

Tarawa86

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You might also want to consider a Pharmacy Technician cert. You don't make a ton in the beginning, but you can usually get on with a hospital pretty soon doing inpatient work which pays much better. My wife makes really good money and there's always plenty of OT available.

Her career has been a Godsend, as she's always been able to get a decent job no matter where we were living. She had to drop out of WSU as we were running out of money, (and I was closer to finishing), and she immediately picked up a pharmacy tech job at Gritman Medical Center. When we moved here she got a decent job at a mail order pharmacy in Beaverton, and then moved up to a hospital.
 
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If you can't pass the tests the FD are not going to hire you so that's out. If you want to work with people in the medical field check into becoming an Emergency Room Tech. Just need a CNA license which is simple to get. Then you can make far more money than any of the Medic Co's are going to pay you and get VERY good insurance.
IIRC ER Techs make decent money, Psych techs also make pretty decent money. (A little more than ER IIRC)
 

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