Coast Guard EMTs? Civilian EMTs?

neoclassicaljazz

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Hey everybody. A few months ago I had received my EMT-B certification and right now I am just volunteering for my local EMS station. I have been wondering where I should go next and I was hoping I could get some feedback from you guys.
Lately I have been thinking about joining the Coast Guard and trying to be an EMT there. Anybody know of anyone who went that route or maybe even went that route themselves? I don't know what I should expect if I made it into the Coast Guard as an EMT. Would already being certified make a difference? Would I have to take the classes again? Would I be able to move up to EMT-A or paramedic level in the military? If anyone has any info at all I would appreciate it.
One of the things I hope to acquire in whatever I do as an EMT is good experience. I want to be the best I can be and learn everything I can. I learn a lot from the people here at my volunteer service but the call volume is low and I don't get the hands on experience that I want....
So, I guess my other option would be to get on a paid service where the call volume is higher. I have heard that a lot of private ambulance services screw over employees, the pay isn't the best, and a lot of the calls aren't 911 worthy. The biggest advantage I see is that I would definitely get experience. I rode with a local service in the city and went on more calls in that one day than we sometimes get in a week here. Bad thing was that not one of those calls required anything more than maybe some O2 and transport. That could have just been a BS day though? Is there anyone who works or have worked for paid services who can tell me about their experience?
I want to take a path that will help me get the most experience and knowledge so I can be the best I can be. I also want to take a path that will best help me down the road. If possible I'd like to go somewhere where I can have a decent quality of life and make a good living eventually. Not looking to get rich...just thinking about that possible family situation that might happen if I should be so lucky haha. Sorry that was so long guys but I'm just trying to finally get out there and take a bigger step toward a career. Thanks for reading, looking forward to hearing what you think.
 
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RocketMedic

Earl of the Wheeled Chair
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That was indeed a BS day. You have them everywhere, regardless of paid/volly/fire/other. However, you can never really judge what sort of day you're going to have, and just because you aren't having to do anything does not mean that the call is not legitimate or 911-worthy. A perfect example of what I am talking about is stroke calls- usually not much to do.

If you want experience, go paid 911.
 

EMDispatch

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mmm... It was my understanding USCG does not have EMS personnel. They use local services for EMS response everytime I've dealt with them in PA and MD. But according to their website they have EMTs, wierd

You check out CBP and the BORSTAR unit... they seem pretty cool. The reality of emergency services is that at least 80% of your calls will be non-emergent issues.
 
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Sandog

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Coast Guard rescue rocks. But do not think it is easy. You will have to be ship shape and bristol fashion :)
 

ZombieEMT

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I hope I can provide some insite with my experience with the USCG. I currently work in lower Cape May County and we have several USCG members who work for us as a part time job. What I am told that they do on the base in Cape May, is work both as an EMT on the ambulance (they have their own and get back-up from Cape May Fire Rescue) and work in the clinic which is like a Urgent Care Center. I am also told that the EMTs in the USCG are similar to the other military medics, where they have more advanced training but its only recognized as and EMT-B with National Registry and Recip in NJ.
 

neoclassicaljazz

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HaleEMT - Awesome! That would be cool to work in an urgent care center along with working in an ambulance. Do you know if you can get a certification for a higher level of EMT while working in the USCG? Also, I hear the basic training is pretty damn tough..anything you can tell me to prepare for that? Thanks for your help.

Sandog - Believe me, I never thought it could be easy! I'm in decent shape right now but if I decide to try and go that route I'll definitely be breaking a sweat every day.

EMDispatch - Thanks! I'll definitely look into that. Always good to know my options.

Rocketmedic40 - Thanks for your input. As a volunteer here I have had some calls where we didn't do much but haven't had one yet where I felt like it wasn't 911 worthy. Not as many people here trying to get drugs and stuff I guess. Do a lot of EMT basics get hired on 911? And would my lack of experience prevent me from getting hired?
 

ZombieEMT

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They have an expanded scope within the role as medical personnel in the Coast Guard, but as a civilian it only translate to an EMT B. they are not called an EMT in the Coast Guard, but I am Not sure what they're called.they just function and both capacities.
 

Sandog

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What sucks is that all your advanced training in the USCG will not transfer to the civilian world. Upside is you will have the VA hospitals where you can apply.
 

neoclassicaljazz

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Does kind of suck that the advanced training wouldn't be recognized back in the civilian world but I'd never consider learning more and getting experience a bad thing! I'm guessing that with their expanded scope of practice that it wouldn't be a bad thing to have on my resume when I got out.
 

Wheel

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What experience are you expecting to get in the coast guard? If it is like the other branches, you aren't going to get a lot of experience that will prepare you for 911 ems. You'll learn a lot about trauma care, but you'll be dealing mostly with patients who are relatively young and probably in the best shape of their lives. The fact is that most of the patients you'll have in ems will be old. The most complex and difficult patients will have multiple medical problems contributing to their condition (CHF, COPD, DM, heart disease, etc.) and the coast guard will have few of these patients and unlikely the call volume to make you proficient in handling them.

As always, the preferred experience for a beginner is paid, high volume 911. Yes, you will see BS, lots of it. You will learn how to differentiate between sick/not sick and you'll see your fair share of trauma too. If you want to serve and go into the coast guard then you should and I will respect you for making that decision. It truly is a noble endeavor. I'm just trying to help you get what you want out of your career. Good luck with everything and be safe.
 

neoclassicaljazz

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Wheel - I never thought about it that way. My ultimate goal is to learn, get experience and do what's going to benefit me the most in the future. I'm 22 right now and don't want to stay an EMT basic forever so another perk of joining the military would be the tuition assistance. I have heard of employers paying tuition for EMTs to up their certification too though. Do you know if that is very common or not? Thanks for the input!
 

Y Knot

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I am in the same boat as you. I am currently a volly in EMS with my local ambulance corp. I will be shipping to BMT for the Air Force - Air National Guard as an Aerospace Medical Technician. The way I look at it is you can't beat the experience and advanced level training all while getting paid. Then you come out with an excellent resume which may just put you above the next guy applying for the job who has no military medic training. Then you can also use your GI Bill is you want to further advance your education.
 
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