Cops and former cops: do you like EMS better?

Trauma Cop

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Here in Northern Virginia, first responders in general are compensated well thankfully. I would agree that most of our calls are BS as well, like one other mentioned civil, noise, animal complaints, traffic complaints, fender benders etc.
@Trauma Cop I’ve never had an issue with that side of things on the LE side as far as basic first aid, tourniquets, cpr, etc if we beat rescue to a call. Let me ask you this, do you ever look back and wish that you stayed in LE? That goes for @Old Tracker and anyone else who left LE to do EMS also.
You know, I'm really glad you asked me that question. I've been out for about 6 months now and it really helps me to talk about getting out of the job because that's a hard decision after being in it for so long man. You struggle with things daily because as you know, once you're out of the thin blue line, the people you worked with typically don't communicate with you anymore no matter how good you were at your job. That's been the toughest thing for me.
 

Old Tracker

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To all my veteranos :cool: out there, Happy Veteran’s Day. TYFYS.

Here in Northern Virginia, first responders in general are compensated well thankfully. I would agree that most of our calls are BS as well, like one other mentioned civil, noise, animal complaints, traffic complaints, fender benders etc.
@Trauma Cop I’ve never had an issue with that side of things on the LE side as far as basic first aid, tourniquets, cpr, etc if we beat rescue to a call. Let me ask you this, do you ever look back and wish that you stayed in LE? That goes for @Old Tracker and anyone else who left LE to do EMS also.

Let me clarify. I retired from the Customs Service. I went into EMS 10-15 years later. The city (I'm being overly generous with the word city, a little podunk town in West Texas would be more acurate) I was living in had a Basic class for a reasonable price. Since I could barely put a bandaid on correctly, I thought it would be well worth knowing some first aid. Well, passed the class, passed NREMT and worked with them as a volunteer. After a month or so they offered me a job. Took the AEMT the next year, passed, and we moved. Working in a much bigger town in West Texas now. Have had the chance to take a P class, but decided at 71, I probably wouldn't get my money back, before I got to decrepit to work. My Fed retirement is about 1 third more than my EMT job, which at full time, working 48/96 is still a pretty good salary for where we are.
 
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Gawill94

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@Trauma Cop thanks for that. I actually just ran into a buddy of mine on an accident call that I went to the police academy with, except when I saw her today she was starting an IV on a patient in the ambulance, so it was nice to catch up like you said since we tend to separate ourselves for whatever reason. But I’ll remember that if I end up leaving.

I have my physical abilities test today, since it’s fire and rescue, you guys have helped me out a lot and I think I’m still gonna push on in the process and do it if I get offered the spot. Seems like the gist I’m getting is that it’s the same type of work where it’s a lot of BS but you still do have exciting calls sometimes, but you don’t have to be negotiating with people or explaining to them why whatever they are complaining about can’t be enforced.
 

Trauma Cop

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@Trauma Cop thanks for that. I actually just ran into a buddy of mine on an accident call that I went to the police academy with, except when I saw her today she was starting an IV on a patient in the ambulance, so it was nice to catch up like you said since we tend to separate ourselves for whatever reason. But I’ll remember that if I end up leaving.

I have my physical abilities test today, since it’s fire and rescue, you guys have helped me out a lot and I think I’m still gonna push on in the process and do it if I get offered the spot. Seems like the gist I’m getting is that it’s the same type of work where it’s a lot of BS but you still do have exciting calls sometimes, but you don’t have to be negotiating with people or explaining to them why whatever they are complaining about can’t be enforced.
Brother, I think it's safe to say you'll always have your share of BS no matter where you work. I guess you got to ask yourself what it is you want. For me, law enforcement loss is excitement but emergency medicine was very interesting to me. I could have done a hundred other things that paid more but I'm a first responder at heart and emergency medicine really excites me. Knowing that you can do real things to make a difference like CPR, defibrillation, bleeding control etc. And you will do those things working on the back of animals. I promise.
 

SandpitMedic

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And to add, the ambulance service actually makes money for the city. The police department really does not.
Sounds like you weren't making your quotas ;)
 

Jim37F

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One of my Fire Recruit classmates was PD before coming over. He was in PD for a while and was one of the "Solo Bike" motorcycle units. Apparently thats a bit of a primo spot that a lot of patrol wanted to be (at least thats how he described it heh).

He actually had to take a pay cut to move from Police to Fire. But he was really happy. He likes our job a lot better. He said he likes going to calls where everyone wants us there, doesn't have to be the "bad guy" where no one wants the cops there, etc.

Of course we're City/County FD, and same retirement system as PD so he'll make up the pay difference as he catches up in the steps and all his time still counts for retirement.

One of my other Recruit classmates whose at the same station I'm at now actually left PD Academy to go to our Fire Academy for much the same reasons.

That and as FD, were obviously Station based, and we're first responder only, no ambulances, so not quite the same as moving over to EMS...

Back when I was working private ambulance in LA Co working minimum wage towards becoming a FF, people would come in and use EMT time as a stepping stone, not just Fire like me but into PD or Sheriff's Department (or Nursing or PA or even a couple ended up going to Med School). But no one left the Police to work for the ambulance. But that being LA was probably as much as no one wants to leave a cushy govt job with bennies making $60K a year to minimum wage EMS companies.

You would hear plenty of stories of cops going over to FD. And you almost never heard of a Firefighter going over to PD... While I was making minimum wage I was starting to consider applying to LAPD, as an interim solution until I went Fire lol
 

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