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6/25/2018 7:04:05 PM
Posted: 7/25/2018 10:38:35 AM EDT
What I want is to pick up occasional evening and weekend shifts on an ambulance. Reason being, I want to (1) help those in need and (2) improve my first responder skills by getting certified as an EMT and applying them a few times a month, every month.

I read the pinned EMT primer and it sounds like even full time good candidates (not middle aged part timers like me) compete for the gomer runs and actual patrolling ambulance duty, responding to crashes, is a coveted position.

I am self employed and have the money to go thru EMT school on my own. Dont need the ambulance service to pay my way.

Is there a place out there for someone like me or is this a crazy and totally unrealistic idea?
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 11:03:41 AM EDT
the basic EMT cert is pretty easy. It is about 5 months long two nights a week and a couple weekends. There isn't much money in it, but it sounds like you are doing it for the right reason. Alot of agencies desperately need people, because alot just go on to get there RN..... part time, full time any hours you can work most places will take you.
Link Posted: 7/25/2018 3:49:01 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 12:59:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2018 1:11:20 PM EDT by sefus]
In my AO for the cheaper, easier on the schedule (while working another job) classes you have to be sponsored by an agency (typically fire or other medical). There are EMT classes at the local community college and they are dang expensive and the scheduling can be hard on your day life if youre not a typical student... which like you say youre self employed so maybe not a big deal. I'd say first go talk to your local transport group (ours is AMR) and see what they recommend to give you the best shot at getting in with them.

Personally, I'm fire and rescue and as much as I like the first ten minutes of a wildland or structure call, I love EMS and would take MVAs and trauma any day over all the others. I've ridden with our ambulance service and the paramedic I was teamed with was young enough to surprise me with how burnt out he was on being a taxi.
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 3:30:55 PM EDT
Working part time you can expect to pull straight midnights with no defined schedule. Just a phone call 30 minutes before your surprise shift starts. That’s been my experience and that of coworkers who still do it part time.
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 3:32:12 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sefus:
In my AO for the cheaper, easier on the schedule (while working another job) classes you have to be sponsored by an agency (typically fire or other medical). There are EMT classes at the local community college and they are dang expensive and the scheduling can be hard on your day life if youre not a typical student... which like you say youre self employed so maybe not a big deal. I'd say first go talk to your local transport group (ours is AMR) and see what they recommend to give you the best shot at getting in with them.

Personally, I'm fire and rescue and as much as I like the first ten minutes of a wildland or structure call, I love EMS and would take MVAs and trauma any day over all the others. I've ridden with our ambulance service and the paramedic I was teamed with was young enough to surprise me with how burnt out he was on being a taxi.
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Yeah if he’s not in it for the money he’s better off to join his local volly dept and let them pay for the class. Then he can run calls at his leisure.
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 7:47:20 PM EDT
This is what you do

Go join the rescue squad. Run some calls. Decide if it's what you thought it was gonna be.

If it is - local community college for classes. Some even go to the squad.

If it ain't - no major loss of money or time

Squad life is very interesting. You think you know where you live; you don't

Good luck / day 1 lol
Link Posted: 7/26/2018 7:55:55 PM EDT
My department has several part time guys and many of the other departments in my area also. We use them to supplement our FT crews.
Link Posted: 7/27/2018 12:41:00 PM EDT
A lot of this is going to depend on where you live and what kind of services are there...

Do you live in an area served primarily by volunteers in agencies with low call volumes?

Do you live in an urban or incorporated area where most emergencies are handled by a municipal or civil service department, and the private services are only doing non-emergency transports?

Are the nearest private services transport only, or do they respond to emergencies as well? Don't get me wrong, sometimes you can learn a lot on transports by reading through the hospitals notes, but they're not what most people initially sign up for.

Probably best to talk to a couple of hiring people ahead of time to figure out what their expectations are and what you'll be doing.

Having said all that, 30 years ago I started out to be an engineer and was working as an EMT part-time. Now I've been a paramedic for more than 28 years and it's taken me around the world with some non-traditional EMS jobs.
Link Posted: 7/28/2018 3:42:18 PM EDT
The hours/pay are going to suck, and around here a part-time EMT-B won't have a chance in hell of riding a 911 truck.
Link Posted: 7/28/2018 3:58:33 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZootTX:
The hours/pay are going to suck, and around here a part-time EMT-B won't have a chance in hell of riding a 911 truck.
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Yeah that's the domain of large hospitals, city and county EMS agencies that generally only hire full timers. A part time basic here is only going to find work on a private ambulance doing transfers and running grandma from the nursing home to the dialysis clinic and back making $9 per hour. It's just honestly not anything I would ever suggest somebody get into. If running true emergencies and helping people is your motivation not money then you're best off to join your local volunteer ambulance/fire department if such an agency exists in your area. You may be able to go to a nearby rural area and volunteer on their ambulance service by working shifts. Even then 80% or more of the medical 911 calls you'll get will not be emergencies. Not my intention to sound down on it but it is what it is out there. The whole EMS system needs a dramatic overhaul in this country.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 12:37:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 10:14:22 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Fidel_Cashflow:

Yeah that's the domain of large hospitals, city and county EMS agencies that generally only hire full timers. A part time basic here is only going to find work on a private ambulance doing transfers and running grandma from the nursing home to the dialysis clinic and back making $9 per hour. It's just honestly not anything I would ever suggest somebody get into. If running true emergencies and helping people is your motivation not money then you're best off to join your local volunteer ambulance/fire department if such an agency exists in your area. You may be able to go to a nearby rural area and volunteer on their ambulance service by working shifts. Even then 80% or more of the medical 911 calls you'll get will not be emergencies. Not my intention to sound down on it but it is what it is out there. The whole EMS system needs a dramatic overhaul in this country.
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If society would quit using EMS as a social work safety net and accept that old people are gonna die, we could cut call volume in half!
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 10:29:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2018 10:29:30 PM EDT by Auxcoastie]
I just finished class last month and got my NREMT back after a 15 year hiatus.

I am a member of my towns volunteer 3rd service EMS squad. They paid for my class and once my state background is done I will be a fully liscensed EMT again.

I will probably look into some Per Diem work, lots of smaller departments here have them along with the bigger cities. Sure its ash and trash work but a few bucks is a few bucks. Also the people I talk to is that the per diems and part timers who run 911 for town are a lot more likely to snag a 911 shift.

We will see but find the volly squad and get some time in.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 10:38:16 PM EDT
OP, first off, where the heck are you? Lots of us with experience but each county is a bit different
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 11:08:59 PM EDT
Do you like being vomited one?

Do you enjoy driving people to their doctor appointments?

Have you thought recently you get too much sleep?

If so, this is the career field for you!

Seriously though, you will likely have a hard time finding part time, paid work on a 911 service. More so if you live in a larger population center. You will have better results the farther you are from civilization.

I HIGHLY recommend volunteering first. You will get experience and develop relationships with people/departments/hospitals where you may find gainful employment in the future. You will also quickly discover if EMS is something you enjoy.
Link Posted: 7/30/2018 11:31:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2018 11:32:18 PM EDT by Fidel_Cashflow]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZootTX:
If society would quit using EMS as a social work safety net and accept that old people are gonna die, we could cut call volume in half!
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZootTX:
Originally Posted By Fidel_Cashflow:

Yeah that's the domain of large hospitals, city and county EMS agencies that generally only hire full timers. A part time basic here is only going to find work on a private ambulance doing transfers and running grandma from the nursing home to the dialysis clinic and back making $9 per hour. It's just honestly not anything I would ever suggest somebody get into. If running true emergencies and helping people is your motivation not money then you're best off to join your local volunteer ambulance/fire department if such an agency exists in your area. You may be able to go to a nearby rural area and volunteer on their ambulance service by working shifts. Even then 80% or more of the medical 911 calls you'll get will not be emergencies. Not my intention to sound down on it but it is what it is out there. The whole EMS system needs a dramatic overhaul in this country.
If society would quit using EMS as a social work safety net and accept that old people are gonna die, we could cut call volume in half!
Most of them need an Uber, not an ambulance. Unfortunately rejecting the obvious bullshit calls opens you up to bloodsucking lawyers.
Link Posted: 7/31/2018 11:04:22 AM EDT
The answer to this question is totally dependent on where you live and what kind of EMS system you have there.

I spent my career in a place where there were no Basic EMTs working "on the streets" aka in an ambulance. The only thing basics did there was work at special events (concerts and stuff like that). This was in a city of about 2 million people and every unit responding to EMS calls was ALS.

I am now retired and live in a small town. I work part time as a paramedic as a retirement job. In this small town, EMS is paid but only one person on each shift is a full time employee and all the rest are part time. Here we have basics working on the rig, running 911 calls (with a paramedic partner). The part time employees sign up for whatever shifts they can work. You sign up a month in advance for the next month's shifts. There are sort of, set shifts. The full time people work 24s. The part time people typically work either 24s or 12s with 12s being far more common for EMTs (part time medics work 24s far more often). There is also one 8 hour shift Monday-Friday but that is usually taken by a medic that works in the office full time and runs calls when the other crew is already out. FWIW: when I first started here, I had no idea that basics were employed here since the place I spent my career didn't have basics.

So again, it is impossible to answer your question without knowing where you live.
Link Posted: 8/6/2018 10:55:13 AM EDT
OP here....

Thanks for all the input. Amazing that you guys (or gals) all chimed in. Much appreciated.

I think the net result of my research, along with the perspectives in this thread, is that I'm (1) idealistic and (2) looking for a unicorn.

I dig the medical training that I take. I enjoy the idea of the "TacMed" and spend a fair amount of time and money each year getting good at both skillsets.

Ive invested in private instruction gunfighter training for years from guys that are all former SOF and are beyond good at what they do. Then added to it, NAEMT classes, ARC training, ECSI training and other private med training from tacmeds, former 68W's and W1s', and a flight paramedic. I throw my own time and money at this and none of it is related to my full time vocation.

I teach my family that you need to be as good at taking a life as saving a life. Since most "gun guys" are, well, "gun guys", and most don't know a tourniquet from a neck tie, I pride myself in the concept of having the ability to stabilize and sustain life as well as being the most dangerous man in the room so to speak.

So I find myself on car crashes a time or two per year. I'm the only guy on scene with blue gloves and a med kit for the 4 minutes of madness that occurs before fire or ambulance roll up. Ive been on like 12 crashes for some reason. God only knows why. Its not like I drive a taxi or anything. Just commute to work and back, and see fresh wrecks couple times a year for some reason. Sounds like I'm driving a traffic circle in Iraq but this is just a normal city in the US. So I have a med kit and nitrile gloves at the ready for first aid.

However the coffee I need to smell is that the adrenaline kick I get from being the civilian first responder, along with the admitted Superman mentality that I get from being a reasonably highly trained gunfighter AND a reasonably highly trained civilian medic, is that this is not a game. These people are hurt and it should not be a source of exhilaration for me that I seek out. I desire to help and I want to be there on someones worst day, but I think i need to draw a reasonable line where I need to say stop. There is no such thing as a 911 ambulance that has an empty seat for a wanna-be that wants to sit in on hero day then get dropped off at the house before you have to carry the fleas that come with the dog. I think I realize that now. Thanks for all the perspectives.
Link Posted: 8/7/2018 3:24:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2018 3:27:27 PM EDT by 444]
You make some valid points, however: Don't think for a minute that people working in EMS and Fire don't get off on the rush; and that, that is one of the biggest reasons they do it.

Yeah, they enjoy helping people but;
There are very few things in life that you can do where you are watching TV, and minutes later you are presented with a situation that your training only superficially covered and you have seconds to decide what is going to happen and someone's life and your career hang in the balance. You have very little data to work with other than your own instincts and experience. You make a decision and live with it.

This is why people don't want to do interfacility transports. This is why people make EMS a career and have absolutely no desire at all to work in a hospital. Let alone sit in some office cubicle.
Link Posted: 8/8/2018 1:22:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2018 11:43:40 AM EDT by sefus]
yeah again, fire and rescue here, and its something we have to retell people in the district every year: people's worst day of their lives is our best, and we dont want them to know that. I have zero saves and freaking love CPR calls, doesn't mean I want people to go down. We get amped up for a good multi vehicle multi patient extrication as much anything, and that's ok as long as you know why it is, imo. jump in in an official capacity, not just good samaritan witness of a MVA. sometimes a lift assist isn't as much as an eye roller as most people might think.
Link Posted: Yesterday 8:25:01 PM EDT
I'm going to echo the statements of the people who said your options will be limited by what is available in your area. For example, the IAFF fire union makes it its unwritten mission to force out volunteers from any area it has a foothold. It's as if the IAFF believes this magically creates money to bring in more full time dues paying union members.

In my mixed paid/volunteer agency I would bring you on as a volunteer, only because we don't have a large enough budget to hire basics. The volunteers I oversee aren't required to take transfers if they don't want, since those are pretty lame most of the time. They sign up for 10-12 hour shifts as they are able, and respond at their choosing for backfill when SHTF. They are reimbursed approx $50 per 12 hour shift and have the option to sign up for transfers at a greater rate of reimbursement. We reimburse the max of what we can justify within DOL regulations.
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