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Invision

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Hello, Ive been reading the forums for a few days now and finally decided to register.

I want to be an EMT and possibly a paramedic, and I just had a few questions...

I have thought about doing this for a while, but not sure if I should. I know someone who will be teaching a course soon at a local community college, and am thinking about taking it. The thing is in Massachusetts (possibly every state) you can't take the EMT certification test(not sure of its exact name) until you are 18, which I will not be until August. Do you think I should wait and take the course when I am 18, or at least a little closer to it, or should I take it now and hope I can remember everything until then that I will need to know.....

Thanks in advance,

Matt
 

rescuecpt

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When I took my original EMT class there was a student who was only 17. I believe our written exam was in May, but he wasn't 18 until August. It worked out for him, but the only thing you need to keep in mind is that while you're out of class you forget things... so if you know that you will be able to stay motivated and keep studying, then go for it. He was riding along with a very good Corps so that helped him keep his skills and knowledge fresh.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide!
 

traumagirl1029

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Matt, I'm currently 17 and the same rule applies in NY as it does in Mass. I guess in a way im lucky because the EMT course starts in Jan ending in Jun and i'll be turning 18 in Apr. so I'll be able to take the course and the test. I think though that if you are really determined to become and EMT that you'll make yourself keep your schooling fresh until you can take the test. I say go for it! and definately Good Luck! :D
 
OP
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Invision

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Thanks to both of you.

I think I will end up taking it, and I know I will be able to stay motivated and keep studying even during the in between period, because this is something that I really want to do.
 

Chimpie

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There are also some other alternatives such as taking the First Aid/CPR/AED class at your local American Red Cross chapter. Heck you may even want to take their First Responder class as well. And while you're at it, take the instructors class which will allow you to teach FA/CPR/AED to others.

And I don't know if you are interested, but you may want to check out your local fire department. Some are volunteer departments and you may be able to join as an Explorer and ride with them on some calls.

Chimp
 

Chimpie

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I'm going to wait and let Chris jump in here and say the exact course title. It has changed since I last taught a class.

But any of those classes will help prepare you for the EMT class and EMS in general.
 

Ray1129

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The American Red Cross is a great place to get a class, but there are other places as well. The American Safety and Health Institute is one and the American Heart Association is another. They offer several different versions of a CPR class. You can get what they call the Layperson CPR course, which just teaches CPR and Choking. Some instructors briefly go over the AED just for general knoledge, but you don't get taught how to use it. Another version is called Health Care Provider, which is the same as Layperson, but it also goes over the AED and Bag Valve Mask. First Aide is a totally different course, but can be taught in the same day....

Taking both classes is only supposed to take up to 8 hours (4 hours per class), but as an instructor, I can tell you that we hardly ever take up the whole time....and it's very good to have, even if you don't wish to go into any kind of medical field....just having it to have it is a really good idea.

Ray
 

traumagirl1029

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I would definately recommend looking into an explorer post. I'm a crew chief at a local private ambulance compnay explorer post but have also been with Rural/Metro...the explorer post has definately changed my life for the better and made me realize how much i want to be invovled in EMS. You also can get that in a firefighting explorer post to and in most cases if your at a vol company *idk if its only NYS that does it or not * but the state will pay for you EMT course. so look into local explorer posts..they are usually overseen by the Boyscouts so contact them to get a listing of explorer posts in your area. :D again..good luck its great to see im not the youngest one hangin' out around here lol!!
 

PArescueEMT

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Pennsylvania has the set up you need. You can get your cert at 16.

One thing I always say to "beginers" is ask yourself these questions:

Do I want to do this for the glory?

Do I want good pay?

Do I want "hero" treatment?

If you say yes to any of those questions, It may not be a good CARREER for you.

I haven't seen any guts in a dogs age, the pay sucks, and what thanks do I get...
 

SafetyPro2

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Originally posted by Chimpie@Oct 31 2004, 06:45 PM
I'm going to wait and let Chris jump in here and say the exact course title. It has changed since I last taught a class.

But any of those classes will help prepare you for the EMT class and EMS in general.
The Red Cross "First Responder" course is officially called Emergency Response. I'm just finishing up co-teaching a class for the Orange County Chapter.

Emergency Response incorporates a lot of the same material an EMT class covers, just in less detail. They generally also include the full CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course.

Matt, looking at the course list you posted the link for, it doesn't look like ER is offered. As its a much more involved class than the normal FA/CPR class (around 56 hours as opposed to a normal 4-8 hour course), not every chapter has the resources to offer it. I know around here, only 2 or 3 of the larger chapters offer it, and only one of those offers the instructor class.
 
OP
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Invision

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Thanks again everyone. Ill look into a first responder class around here, because that sounds like it would be more valuable in preparing me....

On a side note it seems like everyone I talk to tries to discourage me from even going to become an EMT. The first thing that comes out of their mouth is "You know that EMT and paramedics don't make a lot of money right?"

I understand im not going to be a millionaire, but what Im currently doing in school, electrical engineering, I have no interest in at all, but everyone is pushing me to do that instead, because I would make a lot more money.

Im kind of stuck in crossroads here and I dont have too long to make a decision, especially if I plan to go on to college
 

rescuecpt

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I'm a CPA. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but I'm good at it, and it pays the bills. I volunteer as a FF and EMT-CC, and I love it. It's a nice balance between the two worlds. I have my desk job, and my action job, and I feel really fufilled. So that may be an option, maybe in the beginning until you are able to afford a house and get yourself more established. I'm sure everyone who is pushing you towards engineering really have the best of intentions.
 

DonQ

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Invision,

As long as you have the facts on what career you're looking into, and have an interest in, then everything's ok. I was on the same boat you're on right now. I got off it (if you can believe me) only a couple of weeks ago. I was undecided in what I wanted to do. But I knew I loved to help people. I knew I wanted variety in a job. And I didn't care what they paid me as long as I loved what I did. I begin my EMT-B prep class in the Spring '05.

Much luck to ya! :)
 

MMiz

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I know I'm late to reply on this one, but usually I like to see what everyone else has to say first :)

I wanted to be a Paramedic for quite a while before I started the EMT program. Right now I'm a senior in college, and will graduate in a year with a degree in History, with a minor in English, and certification in Social Studies. I say that not to try to impress you (as if history is where it's at), but because it is so different than my job in EMS.

EMS is one of the most rewarding jobs I've had, and I imagine myself doing it for many years to come.

I would advise that you get started, whether that means taking a basic first aid class, or starting the EMT-B program. I'll say that the people in my class that had the CPR / MFR / Etc. certs were a bit ahead of the game when it came time to learning those specific skills.

Get started, and come back and let us know how it goes! rescuecpt, SafetyPro, ffemt, and 'ole Chimp are great resources, so be sure to come back with any questions. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, this board is a great resource, and the members have helped me many times.

Good Luck!
 

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