Any Airforce medics or Firefighters?

Nick647

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Is there anybody here who are AF Paramedics (Pararescue) or Firefighters or have participated in either in the past? I read somewhere else that with both jobs you become an EMT-B (FF) and your automatically registered in the NREMT or something of that nature. Just curious if anyone has any info with it or something.

Thanks
 

firecoins

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you could check the air force website.
 

usafmedic45

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I read somewhere else that with both jobs you become an EMT-B (FF) and your automatically registered in the NREMT or something of that nature. Just curious if anyone has any info with it or something

It's not "automatic". You still have to take the tests. Most pararescue operators (PJs) are paramedic qualified and have the same hurdles and then some for their training. If you're looking to do an end-run around the NREMT exam (which is ridiculously easy as medical credentialing examinations go) this is not the way to do it. You are talking about a program with a 75%+ failure rate. Basically it's the Air Force's version of training a Navy SEAL or Army SF operator gets and you would wind up "riding the pipeline" for training with many of them once you completed the indoctrination course for PJ. Granted, if you pass it and do well, you can pretty much guarantee being viewed with a heavy dose of respect by your colleagues in the civilian sector. There are few people I have more respect for than PJs.

The firefighters- and I'm not 100% on this and this is simply what I was told when I asked a friend of mine who recently separated from the AF as a firefighter- normally get their EMT-B training at their duty station and they go through a course that is identical to the ones you see in the civilian world. I can also speak for that last fact since I used to help teach EMT-B classes at the base I was stationed at (filled mostly with cardiopulmonary technicians, security forces, etc but a few base firefighters also took the course).

Also, the AF firefighting school is allegedly (once again, this comes from what I was told) among the most rigorous fire academies in the nation- with a washout rate nearly double that of most major cities' academies- so it's not going to be an easy way to get your FF quals either.

There is an AF career field ("medical technician" (4N0X1 was the AFSC (job code) last time I checked) that you have to pass the NREMT-B exam for to graduate from technical school. Once again, I don't recommend it since most medical technicians do not work in anything remotely resembling EMS. At least when not deployed, it's usually something more akin to a patient care tech or nurse's assistant than an EMT to be quite honest, unless you get assigned to the ED, ICU, etc. Most work in clinics and check vitals and do other mundane tasks for a living. For those who view interfacility transfers as a level of hell (most new EMTs), this type of work is several levels worse.

Just my two cents as an Air Force veteran. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me. My best advice to you is to stay the hell out of the Air Force. The training is excellent but the quality of life and lack of camaraderie and mutual respect is absolutely horrible.
 
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Nick647

Nick647

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It's not "automatic". You still have to take the tests. Most pararescue operators (PJs) are paramedic qualified and have the same hurdles and then some for their training. If you're looking to do an end-run around the NREMT exam (which is ridiculously easy as medical credentialing examinations go) this is not the way to do it. You are talking about a program with a 75%+ failure rate. Basically it's the Air Force's version of training a Navy SEAL or Army SF operator gets and you would wind up "riding the pipeline" for training with many of them once you completed the indoctrination course for PJ. Granted, if you pass it and do well, you can pretty much guarantee being viewed with a heavy dose of respect by your colleagues in the civilian sector. There are few people I have more respect for than PJs.

The firefighters- and I'm not 100% on this and this is simply what I was told when I asked a friend of mine who recently separated from the AF as a firefighter- normally get their EMT-B training at their duty station and they go through a course that is identical to the ones you see in the civilian world. I can also speak for that last fact since I used to help teach EMT-B classes at the base I was stationed at (filled mostly with cardiopulmonary technicians, security forces, etc but a few base firefighters also took the course).

Also, the AF firefighting school is allegedly (once again, this comes from what I was told) among the most rigorous fire academies in the nation- with a washout rate nearly double that of most major cities' academies- so it's not going to be an easy way to get your FF quals either.

There is an AF career field ("medical technician" (4N0X1 was the AFSC (job code) last time I checked) that you have to pass the NREMT-B exam for to graduate from technical school. Once again, I don't recommend it since most medical technicians do not work in anything remotely resembling EMS. At least when not deployed, it's usually something more akin to a patient care tech or nurse's assistant than an EMT to be quite honest, unless you get assigned to the ED, ICU, etc. Most work in clinics and check vitals and do other mundane tasks for a living. For those who view interfacility transfers as a level of hell (most new EMTs), this type of work is several levels worse.

Just my two cents as an Air Force veteran. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me. My best advice to you is to stay the hell out of the Air Force. The training is excellent but the quality of life and lack of camaraderie and mutual respect is absolutely horrible.




Thanks a ton. Yeah , I was seriously considering going into the AF after HS before I decided on EMS. I figured that the PJs equivilent to the SEALS and Special Ops kinda duty. I am happy you chimed in about the camraderie and the quality of life issue. Thats a shame because I have been told several times its the best branch to go into (and I couldnt see myself in any other branches either...), but really appreciated. Theres a kid at my school whos joining up in the AF for 6 years, I dont know what hes gonna think.
 

usafmedic45

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Thats a shame because I have been told several times its the best branch to go into (and I couldnt see myself in any other branches either...), but really appreciated.

The reason it is the "best" branch according to a lot of people is the simple fact that you have to remember it looks good simply because the alternatives are not any better. It's upsides are t
-You're not likely to get killed in the line of duty unless you go PJ, combat controller, TACP, etc (read as: special operations)
-The food is a little better than the Army (I spent part of my enlistment attached as an instructor to an Army batallion so I am speaking from experience) although the Navy has the best food.

Drawbacks
-Cut-throat attitude among those jockeying for promotion
-Distinct lack of concern for the well-being of personnel, especially those who are bright and ambitious but still possessing of morals
-Outside of combat units (flying squadrons, combat rescue squadrons, etc), the officer corps tends to lack something in the way of leadership qualities. That old saying about things other than cream also floating to the top tends to prove itself very true in the Air Force moreso than any non-military agency I have seen and even worse than the Army. The problem is that the truly best and brightest get their training (or serve out their commitment they racked up in exchange for college being paid for) and get out leaving mostly those who can't function in a civilian position (due to plain incompetence, mental defect (narcissism in the case of my squadron commander) etc) to assume positions of authority.
-Promotion is not based upon actual job performance but rather on how well the person rating you thinks you are doing (and a lot of medical units have all the professionalism when it comes to this of a group of high school jocks and cheerleaders scoring the performance of the theater club) and how well you do on tests of "job" knowledge. Basically you can be a total moron suckup and get promoted but you can be the sharpest person in your shop and if your sergeant doesn't like you, you are not going anywhere rank wise. It's much worse in this regard than it's civilian equivalent.
-The dress uniforms make you look like a glorified flight attendant.
-The dormitories are often not that well maintained, although having your own room is nicer than living in a barracks.

If you want to go military, I would suggest the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Reserves at that.
 

mycrofft

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Being a PJ to learn EMS is like taking karate to work the TV remote.

Very tough, very "oooorah". Learn to skydive and jump out of helos into water, run long distances and shoot people.
My medical unit supported a PJ unit, they were very motivated and had a lot of esprit de corps, but little chance for promotion above E5.

All branches of service have careerists kicking each other and talented necomers in the shins, or higher, and all branches have varying degrees of care being taken of their troops; these can vary by the base you are at, and even by your squadron commander. You have to find the right niche and as a first term enlistee your choices are very limited, although if you go Guard and don't get deployed (and PJ's ARE deployed) you can shop a little.

As memory serves from USAF fire school (I was there when they rolled out that new extinguishant, WATER, at Chanute AFB ), the fire school had such a high washout rate due to two things: it was a field demanding all three factors of physical agility, didactic learning, and emotional control; the second was that, being the second lowest IQ requirement career field in the USAF (no, seriously), it attracted washout from other schools or recruits with low entrance test scores. No link to PJ's except to put out fires they cause.
 
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shawnandmindy

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Wow,

Don't base your USAF decision on just one persons bad experience in the AF. I am a Independant Duty Medical Technician/ EMT-P in the AF and life is not that bad, IDMT is very specialized and has lots of opportunities, we are the only career field in the AF that allows enlisted medics to be providers. I can see, diagnose and Treat any active duty member.

Just remember, there is alot of things that you dont get told. Talk to a recruiter get more info, talk to other prior AF or active duty AF. Get all of your info.

Don't allow one person to change your decision, the AF is not that bad, besides every branch and job has its ups and downs.
 
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Nick647

Nick647

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Wow,

Don't base your USAF decision on just one persons bad experience in the AF. I am a Independant Duty Medical Technician/ EMT-P in the AF and life is not that bad, IDMT is very specialized and has lots of opportunities, we are the only career field in the AF that allows enlisted medics to be providers. I can see, diagnose and Treat any active duty member.

Just remember, there is alot of things that you dont get told. Talk to a recruiter get more info, talk to other prior AF or active duty AF. Get all of your info.

Don't allow one person to change your decision, the AF is not that bad, besides every branch and job has its ups and downs.


I'm still considering it. My grandpa was in for 27 years so hes somebody I go to for experience and information. I was actually looking at the healthcare professions, and some of which I might be interested in. The question is though, do you HAVE TO have a B.A. to get into one of those fields in the AF? I am a senior in HS and my plan is to probably go and get my EMT-B, work a little and if I feel ready, go and get my EMT-P. Do you think I could enter a field as an EMT-B? When I looked online, one thing that I found interesting that stood out to me was Emergency Medical Physician or something of that sort. There were a few others. Any info in terms of civilian standards (other then fitness and the obvious of course), would be great. Thanks.
 

shawnandmindy

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I'm still considering it. My grandpa was in for 27 years so hes somebody I go to for experience and information. I was actually looking at the healthcare professions, and some of which I might be interested in. The question is though, do you HAVE TO have a B.A. to get into one of those fields in the AF? I am a senior in HS and my plan is to probably go and get my EMT-B, work a little and if I feel ready, go and get my EMT-P. Do you think I could enter a field as an EMT-B? When I looked online, one thing that I found interesting that stood out to me was Emergency Medical Physician or something of that sort. There were a few others. Any info in terms of civilian standards (other then fitness and the obvious of course), would be great. Thanks.

You do not need to have a B.A to join the AF in a healthcare field. You will get more college when you join and there are alot of college opportunities while your serving. with all that said. Still pursue a degree, always strive to better your self.
 

mycrofft

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Get that sheepskin!

Also, know that if you stick with it as a career, chances are very high you will change career fields ("specialties") at least once. Just as well, PJ'ing is primarily a young single uninjured man's game.
Does anyone know of female PJ's??

mycrofft,
Major, USAF/Air Nat Guard (retired after 22 years)
 
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Nick647

Nick647

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It will probably be worth speaking to a recruiter in terms of medical fields. I actually got my H1N1 vac. today and EMTs and Medics from Action EMS were there giving them and I told the guy I am going into this field and he said to go EMT-B first then after awhile get your Paramedic. I think though once I get my para. itll be easier and liklier to get a medic kind of job in the USAF. Might happen.
 

Tyler Bruns

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It will probably be worth speaking to a recruiter in terms of medical fields. I actually got my H1N1 vac. today and EMTs and Medics from Action EMS were there giving them and I told the guy I am going into this field and he said to go EMT-B first then after awhile get your Paramedic. I think though once I get my para. itll be easier and liklier to get a medic kind of job in the USAF. Might happen.

Just a little heads up, The USAF doesn't care what previous training or education you have. They wont pick a paramedic over someone who has no medical training. If you are dead set on USAF dont bother getting your EMT/Medic certs. Just get them while you are enlisted.
 

Tyler Bruns

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Also, know that if you stick with it as a career, chances are very high you will change career fields ("specialties") at least once. Just as well, PJ'ing is primarily a young single uninjured man's game.
Does anyone know of female PJ's??

mycrofft,
Major, USAF/Air Nat Guard (retired after 22 years)

Pararescue is male only.
 

shawnandmindy

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Just a little heads up, The USAF doesn't care what previous training or education you have. They wont pick a paramedic over someone who has no medical training. If you are dead set on USAF dont bother getting your EMT/Medic certs. Just get them while you are enlisted.

Actually your wrong,

I went into the AF as a paramedic and as of earlier this year paramedic is now a recognized cert. Plus I skipped all of the EMT portion of tech school. It doesnt hurt getting your certs before you join, as long as they are NREMT.

Please make sure you have your facts straight before you discourage someone. There are still those of us that are in the AF and that keep up with the regulations or know who to ask.

Shawn

Independant Duty Medical Technician
EMT-Paramedic
Combat Readiness Instructor
 
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Tyler Bruns

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Actually your wrong,

I went into the AF as a paramedic and as of earlier this year paramedic is now a recognized cert. Plus I skipped all of the EMT portion of tech school. It doesnt hurt getting your certs before you join, as long as they are NREMT.

Please make sure you have your facts straight before you discourage someone. There are still those of us that are in the AF and that keep up with the regulations or know who to ask.

Shawn

Independant Duty Medical Technician
EMT-Paramedic
Combat Readiness Instructor

Sounds like I was misinformed. I apologize for spreading incorrect info. I was told by 2 different recruiters that I would have to repeat EMT if I enlisted and not to bother with medic school. Sounds like I should get a third opinion...

shawnandmindy- Do you mind if I PM you with a few questions?
 

usafmedic45

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You will get more college when you join and there are alot of college opportunities while your serving.

That depends on the operational tempo of the unit you get assigned. I know a lot of people who don't get much chance at school because they are so freaking busy. That said I know more who do but it is always a problem when you get into a high demand, understaffed and time sensitive job (both civilian and military, but more so in the latter).


I went into the AF as a paramedic and as of earlier this year paramedic is now a recognized cert. Plus I skipped all of the EMT portion of tech school. It doesnt hurt getting your certs before you join, as long as they are NREMT.

Please make sure you have your facts straight before you discourage someone. There are still those of us that are in the AF and that keep up with the regulations or know who to ask.

What he said. I went in as an EMT-I and was able to test out of the cardiology portion of my training based on prior experience (it took some lobbying to get it done but it got me the hell out of Wichita Falls, TX sooner than my classmates which was well worth the trouble). I also made a significant amount of extra cash tutoring the people going through the basic EMT course. Knowledge and experience is never a bad thing.

Don't base your USAF decision on just one persons bad experience in the AF. I am a Independant Duty Medical Technician/ EMT-P in the AF and life is not that bad, IDMT is very specialized and has lots of opportunities, we are the only career field in the AF that allows enlisted medics to be providers. I can see, diagnose and Treat any active duty member.

Just remember, there is alot of things that you dont get told. Talk to a recruiter get more info, talk to other prior AF or active duty AF. Get all of your info.

Don't allow one person to change your decision, the AF is not that bad, besides every branch and job has its ups and downs.

It cuts both ways. Don't let single opinions good or bad form your opinion. Everyone is different. I love the training and experience I gained in the military but it was not rosy for anyone I worked with except the few who were sycophantic enough to do well in the bothersome hierarchy. However, your mileage may vary. I was just putting the ugly underbelly of AF medicine out there so you could be aware of the possible risks involved.
 
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amadon

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AF Medic

Are there any enlisted jobs in the airforce that will give you the training and allow you to take the national registry Paramedic exam? Other than PJ, that is definately out of the question.
 

shawnandmindy

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Yes, You can get your NREMTP while you are a 4N0X1 Aerospace medical services. You will probably have to pay for it though. You could also go special operations, they would send you to EMT-P school. Your other option is to also go IDMT(my career field).

To do this you really have to go medical though.
 

amadon

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AF vs. NG

ok. I am a senior in H.S. right now and am also an Indiana state certified EMT-B. I plan to find a job on an ambulance and work for a few years and then go paramedic. But I wanted to join the reserves so i could get money for paramedic school and get more training and experience. I am considering the national guard as a medic but you will only become nationally registered as a Basic, so i would only get Nationally registered added to my title. But the drills are close and i would get money for paramedic school. But i was still looking at the air force reserves as aerospace medical services but i read on the web site i would receive the same national registry level as the guard plus there is only one drill in Indiana and its 2 hrs away and i dont think they need that speciallty MOS, and the next nearest is 3.5 hours away in another state. So if you could give me some advice that would be great. Like how to become a paramedic in the civilian world through the airforce, like you said. Thanks
 

ExpatMedic

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I may be wrong, so please don't quote me. As far as I know, the only people who actually go through a civilian based NREMT-Paramedic program are the PJ's in the AF.

With that said, the PJ's were trained at the same college I wen't to for Paramedic school (easter NM univ). I believe they now get their Paramedic training in ABQ. They go from "zero" to "hero" in 6 months. They cram it down their throats..literally (you'll be required to administer an NG tube on each other, lol).
 
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