For more information contact your local fire department or hospital..... Some fire departments have volunteer or reserve programs. Most fire departments and ambulance services offer ride-a-longs. So, not only can you get your questions answered, but you can see what the job description entails.
Before you read any further...: Per the Department of Transportation and The Department of Motor Vehicles, very strict standards are set for certification and employment of Emergency Medical Personnel! Also, most employers; city or private, have other policies that rule out potential problems before employment is granted. Some companies do not hire anyone with excessive "moving violations" from the department of motor vehicles. Also, most agencies refrain from hiring people with health problems that could endanger themselves or others. If a problem is discovered like asthma or an old back injury, an MD will have to draft up a letter verifying the ability to preform the duties of your job description.
Also, most shifts are 24 hours and there are many nights when you will get "no sleep" or very little sleep with many interuptions. We commonly do our reports while our partners drive. So, if you cannot write in a moving vehicle, you will have a problem. We do not get break for lunch or dinner and we eat when we can squeeze it in: Sometimes on the way back to the station. When it rains or snows, day or night, we respond without delays. There are also many physical aspects of the job like carrying peolpe down or up stairs.
This is of course NOT meant to discourage anyone from applying for Emergency Medical or fire suppression training!
I suggest that you do a ride-a-long with your local agency and see what it is like first hand...
If any of the following health problems plague you, then your chances for certification and or employment are difficult if not impossible:
And, if you have any of the following convictions on your driving record or if you have a criminal record, certification can be denied:
Most of the following are prerequisite or mandatory requirements for course completion and certification and ultimately licensing...
WOW, I hope I did not forget anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The biggest hurdle is getting the job..... There is an excess of
paramedics graduating from schools and sometimes there are not enough positions
for all of them. This is where the INTERVIEW really counts. You could be the
top of your class and not interview well... So, guess what: Interview
training!!!!! More classes or training................ and
And if you are fortunate to get hired by a fire department, they will send you to a "Fire Academy." Not enough time to discuss that now. But, it usually is a 14 week program with classes and training every day except for the weekends. Most programs are broken up into class room and practical - physical training with hoses, ladders and fire fighting tools and equipment. The days are 8 hours and extrememely demanding, both physically and mentally.
The harsh reality is that there are not enough jobs out there. If you are a paramedic and meet the qualifications, you can almost guarantee an applicationfor employment. Then after you complete the written and practical test and pass the physical exam and background check and interview, you can become a successfull candidate for employment. And, it is a very competitive process...
And, the pay is not that great considering the amount of schooling and continued education and the responsibility and liabilities. But the job is very rewarding and challenging and exciting.
Good luck! Study with a commitment...
by Mitch Mendler E.M.T. Paramedic FireFighter
Back to Meet your Medic.
Back to the S.D.
Web page design and maintenance by Mitch Mendler E.M.T. Paramedic FireFighter;The WebMaster!All aspects of this page are copyright © 1996 The San Diego Paramedics & or S.D.C.P.A. and unless otherwise stated are the property of the San Diego Paramedics and or the San Diego County Paramedic Association.