Medic from Non-Emergent to 911


Forum Ride Along
Hi all,
Longtime lurker here. Apologies if this isn't the correct category for this thread also.

I am a baby Paramedic, and I live in ruralsville USA in South GA. I started my EMS career 6 years ago with a private company doing predominately non-emergent transports, long distance transfers etc. Some have been very challenging and stressful ALS calls, but majority are not.
Through this company, I was able to complete medic school. However, now I'm a burned out paramedic still doing LDT and the occasional 911 mutual aid for the local county.
I love our company, I've watched it grow and expand over the years, I genuinely feel it's a good company. However, it still has many kinks to be worked out, and I've given up waiting on them to be resolved. My personal opportunities are lacking with this service, I cannot afford the benefits, we have no retirement, 401k, We offer no CEU's/in-service training. I have certs expired I'm trying to renew. I feel like I'm wasting my life and gaining nothing in return, and I should move on despite the guilt I feel for abandoning this place.
I have recently applied for a county job with a 911 service. I am now having second thoughts on whether I have made a mistake. I have such little 911 experience. I feel like 3/4 of the information I learned in medic school (2 years ago) has been forgotten. I genuinely worry I will forget, miss something, or genuinely not know what to do on a serious call.
My question is, if anyone else has been in a similar situation, or has any good feedback on how to transition to this different type of EMS? I used to love this craft, and felt alive doing my job. I want to get back to that, and I want to have a future as well. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.


The fire extinguisher is not just for show
1) county services typically have better benefits than private services.
2) if you feel like you are wasting your life and have not gained anything, than it's time to move on.
3) if you haven't used 3/4 of the information in your IFT career, because you never needed it, than it makes sense that it's lost
4) Get the job, first. interview, review your medic school stuff, and the local protocols.

county agencies tend to be ems careers, while private EMS tends to be an ems job, for the exact reasons you listed. Once you get hired, the county should have an on boarding and training period, to acclimate you to how they do things. But first you need to get the job, after that, everything else will fall into place.


You've answered your own question. Move on. Burnt out, bored, no continuing education, no benefits. But you do have experience now. As for lapsed certs, NEVER let certs lapse unless you are SURE you'll never need them again. Follow through on your application. Don't look back.


Forum Deputy Chief
Lightbringer, my first thought was to compare your self-doubts to the way I felt when I started in EMS. It was pretty much the same -- having some training but feeling that I didn't know enough. I think that's pretty common in lots of businesses. If you're determined to try something new and are willing to give yourself a chance to succeed -- say, a year at least -- then there's a good chance you will. Use your strengths -- humility, flexibility, knowledge of the industry, willingness to work hard, and a desire to do well -- to overcome your weaknesses.


Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
You won't be the first person to do this. A hallmark of a good service is a good field training and orientation program, you might find that this is all you need to relearn what you think you forgot.


Californian, Lost in Texas
IFT-heavy work does numb the mind and batter the heart. I’ve gone from 911 to a transfer medic and wheelchair earl and it really really sucks.


Forum Crew Member
Dude dont sell yourself short! Everyone started out green! You can truly do anything you put your mind and heart into.
A hallmark of a good service is a good field training and orientation program
Tigger hit it right on the head. Work for a system that has a a good FTO or FTEP program. The service I worked at previously had a 4 month FTEP program.
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