New Paramedic moving to Pittsburgh Area

fredell31

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I am a brand new medic moving from Northern California to Pittsburgh.
I have National Registry and I am moving through the reciprocity process with EMS West. I have 2 years of 911 EMT experience working for a busy, urban county in CA. I did my paramedic internship with a large, urban fire department with a very busy and "eclectic" patient population.

I have applied with Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS as that is the ultimate place that I want to work. I know that it is a pretty long process as it is a civil service position.
In the meantime, I want to get more experience in a volunteer/part-time position in the Pittsburgh area. I would like to find a place that has great field training and mentorship. Does anyone know of such an agency that would want someone who is determined and wanting to learn?

Most paramedic job listings in the area require "Medical Command". If I understand this right, you get credentialed by the hospital to receive medical command from them? This is a new concept to me coming from a state where you would get medical command from the emergency physician at the hospital contracted with the county.
As someone who is not affiliated with a EMS agency and is coming from the outside, how would you get credentialed for medical command?

Any information would be appreciated. I am excited to be moving to a different place and would love any serious help that people with experience could give me.
 

DrParasite

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I know nothing about your particular area, however I would start here: http://www.county.allegheny.pa.us/emergency-services/emergency-medical/ems-agencies.aspx

start making phone calls, see who is hiring part time, and go talk to a bunch of places. idk anything about the geography, but at least one Pittsburgh area EMS system runs an EMS rescue, so that's something different than being on the ambulance. Find the 5 agencies that are closest to your new home, and go down to the station and speak to some on duty staff.
 

Never2Old

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In PA the Department of Health requires Paramedics to have "Medical Command" to practice as a Paramedic, and is only good for the service for which command is issued. Generally each service has a "Medical Director" who is a physician certified by the state to provide oversight, standing orders, narcotics, etc, and under who's medical license the paramedics are authorized to provide ALS interventions. The Medical Director issues you "Command". Generally the service you affiliate with will have a process to obtain command.

My service has a medical command review process where new hires need to demonstrate specific skills for the Medical Director to obtain initial "Command" and then have an annual refresher. Should there be issues on the street, a Medical Director can pull your command, which prohibits you from acting as a Paramedic in PA for that service, but does not impact your certification itself. There are Paramedics who do not have command, but still hold their certification, but are not active, or just teach and are not on the street, etc.

Each service is slightly different, and again, you will most likely need command for each service for which you work/volunteer. Many times the services Medical Director will provide initial command based on you already having it elsewhere - kind of like reciprocity.

Here are some helpful links

PA DOH Medical Command Form ...
http://www.emmco.org/Documents/MedicalCommAuthForm.pdf

PA DOH Code - Medical Command Physician
https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/028/chapter1023/s1023.2.html

UPMC Medical Command Overview
https://www.upmc.com/healthcare-professionals/departments/emergency-medicine/prehospital-care-program/medical-command
 
Last edited:

Tigger

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This is why our community is great. The above is a clear and concise explanation of a rather complicated process that non PA folks like myself would be left scratching our heads by.
 

fredell31

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Thanks so much for the explanation. I appreciate it.


In PA the Department of Health requires Paramedics to have "Medical Command" to practice as a Paramedic, and is only good for the service for which command is issued. Generally each service has a "Medical Director" who is a physician certified by the state to provide oversight, standing orders, narcotics, etc, and under who's medical license the paramedics are authorized to provide ALS interventions. The Medical Director issues you "Command". Generally the service you affiliate with will have a process to obtain command.

My service has a medical command review process where new hires need to demonstrate specific skills for the Medical Director to obtain initial "Command" and then have an annual refresher. Should there be issues on the street, a Medical Director can pull your command, which prohibits you from acting as a Paramedic in PA for that service, but does not impact your certification itself. There are Paramedics who do not have command, but still hold their certification, but are not active, or just teach and are not on the street, etc.

Each service is slightly different, and again, you will most likely need command for each service for which you work/volunteer. Many times the services Medical Director will provide initial command based on you already having it elsewhere - kind of like reciprocity.

Here are some helpful links

PA DOH Medical Command Form ...
http://www.emmco.org/Documents/MedicalCommAuthForm.pdf

PA DOH Code - Medical Command Physician
https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/028/chapter1023/s1023.2.html

UPMC Medical Command Overview
https://www.upmc.com/healthcare-professionals/departments/emergency-medicine/prehospital-care-program/medical-command
 

kaisardog

Forum Crew Member
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Thanks so much for the explanation. I appreciate it.
pittsburgh is in the middle of a legal fight about whether public service union employees need to be 'residents of 'the city of pgh.' to get a pgh. union job. so til some judges on high decide this, look carefully at where you'd want to live. the city of pgh has some good neighborhoods where schools are good, and cost of living is low , and you can easily get to its outer (non city of pgh) suburbs like north hills white oak or monroeville who may be hiring paramedics.
 

CCCSD

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Are they a pay for service via fee membership? Can they refuse to respond to non members?
 

PotatoMedic

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Are they a pay for service via fee membership? Can they refuse to respond to non members?
Yup. They even have a credit card reader and won't turn a wheel before getting confirmation the payment went through.

Kidding. Memberships are a way to help bring in money. Usually cost about 60-100 dollars a year and if you are transported, anything insurance does not pay that they would normally bill you for, they won't bill you for.

Similar to aeromedical memberships.

Their hope is a lot of people buy them and that no one they transport has one.
 

PotatoMedic

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Thank you, potato.
No problem! I will say I did work for a private where they tried to make me get a cc number before transporting a patient. I told them h*ll no.
 
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