It feels like I'm stuck in a rut.

Always BSI

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I took my EMT-Basic course a while ago. Took it fall of 2010. I didn't get my state card until summer of last year. Ive been applying all over the place in Southern California. San Bernardino county, Riverside, Orange County ,Los Angeles etc. No luck. I applied to what seems to be over 20 some ambulance companies and only a handful have responded with either:

"We are not hiring at this time"
"We are going with other candidates"
"We only hire full time"

Some have not contacted me at all. Ive even gone in person to drop off my application called and emailed them and nothing.

Is the fact that I've never had a job a bad thing? Or no EMS experience. The only "Experience" I have is my 48 ride out hours with AMR. The only volunteer type work Ive done is fire explorers for my local fire dept. I did that for over a year. Ive dedicated myself full time to school ever since I graduated High school back in 2009.

About 2 weeks ago I had my first job interview at a ambulance company (Don't want to name them) I thought I did pretty well, In fact the lady at this ambulance company called me back the very next morning to schedule another interview. I went and they interviewed me, this time it was with a supervisor and 2 workers. I thought it went well until I got an Email today informing me that they weren't considering me for the position.

Ive talked to some of my EMT instructors and they have helped me out quit a bit. They told me some basic things I would need like a resume, ICS courses, Ambulance drivers certificate, etc. I have all that.

So right now I have:

My Resume,EMT-Basic State card, National Registry, AHA CPR Card, ICS:100/200/700/800, Ambulance drivers certificate, Medical examiners card (green card), H-6 print out. Ive also been practicing my tough book and map reading skills last but not least skills.

What can I do to better prepare myself, it feels like I'm stuck in a rut not having any job experience or EMS experience. I almost feel like nobody wants me, lol. Well anyways EMTLIFE I hope you can give me some tips!

Thanks for reading!
 

Chimpie

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...I've been applying all over the place in Southern California. San Bernardino county, Riverside, Orange County ,Los Angeles etc. No luck....

First, welcome to EMTLife. We're glad you've joined our community.

Second, take some time and read through some of the different sections of the forum. You'll see that finding a job in southern California is one of the most toughest areas to find a job, especially at the EMT level.

My first recommendation would be either move away from southern California. It seems like Basics are a dime a dozen there.

My second recommendation would be to go to medic school. There are probably hundreds graduating from Basic school every year and they're probably not hundreds of new jobs. Go to medic school and add another notch to your training. You'll be more valuable that way.
 

Sasha

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Make yourself more attractive.

Start medic school. Volunteer with an ambulance company for experience, be open to going full time WHATEVER shift they want to give you.

Gain some kind of employee experience, even if it's at McDonalds a shift a week.

Study up on interview skills and resume building and PRACTICE your interviewing in the mirror. Watch your body language to make sure it's open and inviting and not closed off. SMILE. People want to hire HAPPY people. Make sure you speak clearly. Maybe you're not interviewing as well as you think. Make sure you are clean and presentable, tattoos covered, piercings out.

Keep trying, eventually it'll come to you. Remember when you are looking for your foot in the door nothing is beneath you.
 

TheGodfather

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Study up on interview skills and resume building and PRACTICE your interviewing in the mirror. Watch your body language to make sure it's open and inviting and not closed off. SMILE. People want to hire HAPPY people. Make sure you speak clearly. Maybe you're not interviewing as well as you think. Make sure you are clean and presentable, tattoos covered, piercings out.

+1

I used a webcam to record myself performing practice interviews, and then after I'd go back and critique the body language... You'd be surprised on all of the nervous stuff you do without thinking about it... That helped my overall confidence in front of an interview board exponentially.
 

bigbaldguy

Former medic seven years 911 service in houston
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Make yourself more attractive.

Start medic school. Volunteer with an ambulance company for experience, be open to going full time WHATEVER shift they want to give you.

Gain some kind of employee experience, even if it's at McDonalds a shift a week.

Study up on interview skills and resume building and PRACTICE your interviewing in the mirror. Watch your body language to make sure it's open and inviting and not closed off. SMILE. People want to hire HAPPY people. Make sure you speak clearly. Maybe you're not interviewing as well as you think. Make sure you are clean and presentable, tattoos covered, piercings out.

Keep trying, eventually it'll come to you. Remember when you are looking for your foot in the door nothing is beneath you.

+1 very well put Shasha.
 
OP
Always BSI

Always BSI

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First, welcome to EMTLife. We're glad you've joined our community.

Second, take some time and read through some of the different sections of the forum. You'll see that finding a job in southern California is one of the most toughest areas to find a job, especially at the EMT level.

My first recommendation would be either move away from southern California. It seems like Basics are a dime a dozen there.

My second recommendation would be to go to medic school. There are probably hundreds graduating from Basic school every year and they're probably not hundreds of new jobs. Go to medic school and add another notch to your training. You'll be more valuable that way.

I really wish I was in a position to relocate to a different state. At the moment I fully depend on my parents for gas money, food, etc. The money situation at home isn't the greatest. How is Arizona for EMS. I have a aunt that lives about half and hour away from Phoenix.

The school I go to requires me to have 6 months of experience under my belt, are there schools that don't require that? I do plan on going to medic school but finding a job as an EMT here in SoCal is beyond frustrating and sometimes it puts me down and I start over thinking what I should do.


Make yourself more attractive.

Start medic school. Volunteer with an ambulance company for experience, be open to going full time WHATEVER shift they want to give you.

Gain some kind of employee experience, even if it's at McDonalds a shift a week.

Study up on interview skills and resume building and PRACTICE your interviewing in the mirror. Watch your body language to make sure it's open and inviting and not closed off. SMILE. People want to hire HAPPY people. Make sure you speak clearly. Maybe you're not interviewing as well as you think. Make sure you are clean and presentable, tattoos covered, piercings out.

Keep trying, eventually it'll come to you. Remember when you are looking for your foot in the door nothing is beneath you.

Very good tips! I agree with picking up any shift possible I'm just worried that I wont be able to go to school this fall in 2012 if I start working. I want to go to work and school part time. Am I being too picky? Or should I dedicate myself to work for 6 months and skip a semester of college?

I thought I could jump straight in to a ambulance company with my EMT certs with no prior job experience lol. I will definitely go apply to other places. Should I list all my EMT certifications for example if I go to apply to Mc Donald or Walmart?

Another great tip about the webcam, I have a laptop that has one I should definitely get started. You're right although It seemed to me like both interview went good I remember stuttering a few times :unsure:...

Thanks for the amazing tips!
 

DesertMedic66

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I was in the same exact place as you. Took EMT class fall of 2010. Never had a job. Fire explorers was my only work experience.

Ambulance companies do hire people with no experience. Normally there is a long wait list because everyone and their mother in california is an EMT trying to get hired.

There isn't anything I can think of off the top of my head to add to your resume. Fire explorers is what helped for me. It allowed me to make contacts with people that got me hired on.

See if your college that you went to EMT school offeres a volunteer EMT skills instructor program. My college that I am a skills instructor for is starting to to do this just so we can get our students hired easier. With my college, at least, depending on how you preform you have a chance to be moved up into a paid primary instructor program.

Also Morongo Basin Ambulance up in the 29 Palms area has an EMT reserve program to help with experience and you can move up to a paid position if they have positions open.
 

firecoins

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Uclabruin103

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Keep plugging away and always try to do things to better yourself like others have said. As for part-time, at my company you need a year of full-time before you can switch over. I assume its similar other places. Guess you have to
chose what you want to focus on right now; work or school. Also keep in mind there are many online classes from community colleges, and working student programs around.

As for applying to companies I was recommended to only apply to health department licensed providers, be it ift, 911, etc. google licensed ambulance companies los angeles department of health.
 

EMT John

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I strongly disagree with going to medic school. I would reccomend at least 2 years ALS experience before applying to a medic school. I would say there is at least a 25% if not 40% fail rate for fresh EMT's going to medic school.

As for jobs... Best of luck. There are lots of EMT's and less companies hiring. Maybe start working on a gurney van and work your way up. Apply at water parks, theme parks, stadiums and any kind of resort you can find. Your in so cal maybe become a life guard.

As for building your resume there are a lot of certs you can get through FEMA's website that are free. I've taken about 75% of the courses on there and they are fairly easy. Any volunteer work always looks good on a resume.
 

Sasha

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Don't make up statistics.

GO TO MEDIC SCHOOL.

I went straight from EMT to Medic school. I am a good medic. I am competent. I am fantastic at my job. I provide excellent care.

Don't waste time. GO. This "ALS experience" is a myth propagated by people who don't know any better. You do NOT need experience to do well in medic, you just need dedication and a good head on your shoulders.
 

DesertMedic66

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Don't make up statistics.

GO TO MEDIC SCHOOL.

I went straight from EMT to Medic school. I am a good medic. I am competent. I am fantastic at my job. I provide excellent care.

Don't waste time. GO. This "ALS experience" is a myth propagated by people who don't know any better. You do NOT need experience to do well in medic, you just need dedication and a good head on your shoulders.

There is no one answer for everyone. For some people it works better if they get experience. For others it is better if they don't.

If I went to medic school right now I would pass without question. As for me personally what will make me a better medic is waiting for a year after I get on an ALS unit.
 

EMT John

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Very true. Everyone is going to take it differently. I'm just speaking from my experience and what I've seen. Not making up stats. My medic class had 40 students on the first day. The class devided pretty naturally with people with experience on one side and none on the other side. The no experience were dropping off one by one. By the end of the year about 10 people dropped or failed. Another 5 didn't pass their clinical/internship and another 5 didn't pass regrestry. So that's 50%. Not all were people with no experience but a large portion was. I've seen/heard similar situations in other classes.

If you feel you can do it then great. More power to you, ether way getting experience or not it's going to be hell.
 

Handsome Robb

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I strongly disagree with going to medic school. I would reccomend at least 2 years ALS experience before applying to a medic school. I would say there is at least a 25% if not 40% fail rate for fresh EMT's going to medic school.

I've agreed with most all of your other posts except for this one.

I had ZERO experience at the beginning of medic school and I'm the youngest in the class. Sat at a 4.0 all the way through school.

I finished didactic at the top of the class. I finished clinicals at the top of the class. I'll let you know about internship since I'm not quite done but from what I hear I'd have to :censored::censored::censored::censored: up real good to get extended or fail.

I started working as an Intermediate half way through school. Does it help when it comes to the operations side of things? Absolutely. Does it help with the medical side of things? That's debatable but I personally say no.

We started with 10 and are finishing with 9. The one that dropped out had experience as an EMT. All the ones without experience are still in the class.

Sorry, this post totally inflated my ego but I'm trying to make a point.
 
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Sasha

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I've agreed with most all of your other posts except for this one.

I had ZERO experience at the beginning of medic school and I'm the youngest in the class. Sat at a 4.0 all the way through school.

I finished didactic at the top of the class. I finished clinicals at the top of the class. I'll let you know about internship since I'm not quite done but from what I hear I'd have to :censored::censored::censored::censored: up real good to get extended or fail.

I started working as an Intermediate half way through school. Does it help when it comes to the operations side of things? Absolutely. Does it help with the medical side of things? That's debatable but I personally say no.

We started with 10 and are finishing with 9. The one that dropped out had experience as an EMT. All the ones without experience are still in the class.

Sorry, this post totally inflated my ego but I'm trying to make a point.

I would trust you and your no ALS experience before school self to take care of me and my family. Even the ones I like.

You're misrepresenting your statistic as universal. That's one or two classes. In MY experience the ones with previous experience do piss poor because they can't forget all the bad field habits they've picked up and they have inflated attitudes.

I also didn't find medic school to be hell. A little challenging yes, but hell? No.
 
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Handsome Robb

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I would trust you and your no ALS experience before school self to take care of me and my family. Even the ones I like.

You're misrepresenting your statistic as universal. That's one or two classes. In MY experience the ones with previous experience do piss poor because they can't forget all the bad field habits they've picked up and they have inflated attitudes.

I also didn't find medic school to be hell. A little challenging yes, but hell? No.

Thanks Sasha :) that really means a lot to me.

I agree, medic school is difficult but it's not *that* hard. My schedule during medic school is what has made it hell. I wont lie, I envy the guy and the two in the class behind me that are on scholarship. Free school and they get paid their hourly wage during school hours...sign me up.
 

Asclepius911

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I had no idea you can begin medic school without 6 months experience as an Emt, isn't it the minimum requirement 1200 hrs as an Emt? Atleast in LA County its what I've been told.
 

Aprz

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Some paramedic programs require experience, some do. In the State of California, paramedic programs aren't required to have experience their prereq. I don't think it can be a county thing.
 

terrible one

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Every school/person is different, some do better with the experience some do not.
Also, you may want to research the job market for paramedics in your area before sinking thousands of dollars/hours into paramedic school for a job that is just as competitive for limited openings and a meager wage.
Otherwise we'll be reading another post about a "SoCal paramedic that can't find a job" or is upset that they are "making as much as a burger flipper"
 

RocketMedic

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I actually have multiple (part-time) job prospects out this way...
 

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