Paramedic Schools/Programs in Southern California

rlr

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Hello,
I was wondering if anyone could provide any feedback on good, reputable Paramedic programs in Southern California. Like thousands of aspiring firefighters out here, I am looking to get a job. I was hoping to get hired as a firefighter/emt and then work toward paramedic. That's not working out so well. I want to come out of my training and have confidence that I am prepared for the job. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

thanks
rlr
 

RESQGUY

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I have heard good things about EMSTA, Palomar and Southwestern. I plan on attending EMSTA for medic school.
 

Rykielz

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Honestly man there's a lot of hype built up around certain medic schools because "firefighters go there." Also I'd caution you on going if your only doing it to become a firefighter. Every school requires a lot of commitment and time, and if your hearts not 100% into it it's gonna be difficult. Not to mention it's gonna show on every call you run. Here's a list of schools in the Southern California region that I know of starting in Bakersfield and moving south. Good luck to ya.

1) Bakersfield Community College
2) NCTI Santa Barbara, Riverside, and San Diego (Part-time school)
3) Crafton Hills
4) UCLA Daniel Freeman
5) PTI (LACFD's medic school, need an academy)
6) Mt. SAC (Has a reputation for being very difficult academically)
7) Riverside Community College
8) Saddleback Community College
9) Palomar Community College
10) Southwestern Community College
11) EMSTA (San Diego)
6) Saddleback
 

terrible one

Always wandering
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Stay away from PTI.
Also to add to the list Ventura college (self taught program) good field training, but poor didactic.
 

DesertMedic66

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rlr

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Thanks

Thank you for all of the responses. It will be a big help. To Rykielz, no doubt about being into it. I am. Becoming a Medic is a very important goal for me--for the main reason that I believe I will be great at it. I just wanted to get hired first to ease the financial strain that I have been to my wife. Thanks for looking out.

Again Thanks to all replies. I will begin looking in to each.

rr
 

Cawolf86

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If you have any specific questions on a school I am sure that those of us who attended them would be glad to answer (Mt. San Antonio College here).

Best of luck.

-Andrew
 

Sandog

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I have heard good things about EMSTA, Palomar and Southwestern. I plan on attending EMSTA for medic school.

EMSTA, albeit a good program I hear, consider this; you will be paying $10K for a $24K a year job and that equates to paying off student loans for quite awhile. The current job opportunities for medics in SD right now are somewhat bleak, so after completing EMSTA you could find yourself jobless with a big student loan to pay off. I would suggest you try for Southwestern as a first option. If that does not work out, then EMSTA may be the way to go if you are willing to relocate out of SD. I do not mean to discourage your career plans, only offering some advice on things to think about.
 

TreySpooner65

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Stay away from PTI.
Also to add to the list Ventura college (self taught program) good field training, but poor didactic.

Ventura College has a degree in Paramedic Studies. Thats what I am taking.
 

Monkey

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EMSTA, albeit a good program I hear, consider this; you will be paying $10K for a $24K a year job and that equates to paying off student loans for quite awhile. The current job opportunities for medics in SD right now are somewhat bleak, so after completing EMSTA you could find yourself jobless with a big student loan to pay off. I would suggest you try for Southwestern as a first option. If that does not work out, then EMSTA may be the way to go if you are willing to relocate out of SD. I do not mean to discourage your career plans, only offering some advice on things to think about.

EMSTA is a chunk of change, for sure. NCTI is only about 1k less. Nothing wrong with Southwestern, Palomar is a bit militaristic and they favor guys going to North County fire, but a good program none the less.

I'm biased, but EMSTA offers quite a bit for the money; mentor program, contacts for jobs from fire to private agencies, and most of all, the encouragement and help to succeed. They CARE if you pass or fail, you're not just another student. The downside is that until next year, no college credits for going to school there.

There are good points and bad to every medic school. Everyone is going to praise the school they went to for the most part. The best advice, research every school you're interested in, stop by, take a tour, and make your choice.

:)
 

thegreypilgrim

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Stay away from the private schools (NCTI, EMSTA, Daniel Freeman) unless you want to pay extraordinary amounts of money for a marginal education, and essentially no transferable college credit.

Stay away from PTI - this is the penultimate medic mill and largely the reason why LA County EMS is the way it is. Only a handful of seats are open to civilians anyway as the local FDs send all their people here. Same goes for UCLA-Daniel Freeman (which is NOT actually part of UCLA despite what anyone tells you).

Go to one of the community colleges. Less money, better education:

Cuesta College - San Luis Obispo
Ventura College - Ventura
Mt. San Antonio College - Los Angeles
Saddleback College - Orange County
Riverside Community College - Riverside
Crafton Hills College - San Bernardino
Victor Valley College - San Bernardino
Southwestern College - San Diego
Palomar College - San Diego
 
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thegreypilgrim

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Why does a CC = better education in your book?
Perhaps I should have said better educational model. My bad.

The private schools have a vested interest in filling as many of their seats as possible, and passing as much of them as possible, in as short a time as possible. The current culture of EMS (especially in California) is such that people are going to pursue the easiest option that requires the least amount of time to complete, even if they have to pay extra for it.

The CC programs are typically 12-18 months whereas at the private schools you can be done in 6 months. They don't have a financial/business interest in passing people, but an academic/professional one. For heaven's sake NCTI is owned and operated by AMR. How in the world is that considered appropriate?
 

Monkey

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NCTI is in a catagory by itself IMHO.

I appreciate your explaination though, thanks. It gives me some insight into peoples thinking about our private schools.

I've also heard the opposite from people. To stay away from CC's because they DON'T care about your passing or failing, that you're just another number in line to them.

It's very interesting to see peoples views on different schools.
 
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thegreypilgrim

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NCTI is in a catagory by itself IMHO.
It's a private school that exists for the sole purpose of controlling supply and demand of AMR's employment pool.

I've also heard the opposite from people. To stay away from CC's because they DON'T care about your passing or failing, that you're just another number in line to them.
While I disagree with this suggestion, were it to be true I'd consider it to be preferable to the opposite situation wherein if you pay you pass. I'm not inherently opposed to private schools, however. If paramedic education ever is transferred to universities (a feat requiring divine intervention at this point) I'd be fine with private universities offering such programs. I also am in favor of hospital-based programs, but these are nonexistent here in SoCal.
 

Monkey

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Yes, I agree with NCTI, that's why I said they're in a class alone... :)

Apart from College Credits not being transferred...

While I agree that the attrition rates at CC are astronomically high, (SWCC and Palomar being the ones that I am familiar with) does that mean that people are paying to pass at private schools (NCTI notwithstanding)?

I'm sure if you asked students from some of them, they'd have to hold back physical violence from that "pay to pass" statement as they're under as much if not more stress and anguish, due to the amount spent to go to school.

It's just funny is all. I've heard so much, "You get what you pay for" all the way to "Pay to Pass."
 

thegreypilgrim

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While I agree that the attrition rates at CC are astronomically high, (SWCC and Palomar being the ones that I am familiar with) does that mean that people are paying to pass at private schools (NCTI notwithstanding)?
I'm not sure I agree that attrition rates at CC are "astronomically high". I'm not aware of any documentation in regards to that. Anecdotally, however, I'd say they're comparatively higher than in the private schools. Naturally, this raises the question of why this is the case. I believe this is because organizationally, the private schools behave as businesses (in many cases this behavior is quite transparent) and design their curricula to facilitate passing as many students as possible.

I'm sure if you asked students from some of them, they'd have to hold back physical violence from that "pay to pass" statement as they're under as much if not more stress and anguish, due to the amount spent to go to school.
Much of this stress is needless, and their frustration would be more correctly directed at their program directors who are taking advantage of them. Why don't they just attend a CC program? Fear of failure? Why are they getting into the medical profession if they don't want to be challenged? It's hard for me to find sympathy.

It's just funny is all. I've heard so much, "You get what you pay for" all the way to "Pay to Pass."
Plenty of excellent EMTs and paramedics received their training at private schools, plenty of terrible ones have gone through CC programs. However, certain patterns predominate in each type of program.
 

Monkey

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Well said.

And that's why I only used Palomar and Southwestern... I KNOW their attrition rates.

You have a very interesting viewpoint, but you're right, good Medics can come from either school as well as crappy. It's the goal to make it harder for the crappy ones to skate by. ;)
 

Rykielz

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Honestly I don't see how you can critique a private program if you went to a CC. I don't believe many schools churns out students like a conveyor belt. I've met a ton of medics who went to private programs and pit me to shame at times. I think if anything, CC's actually turn away a lot of quality candidates because they think qualifications mean everything. At the same time, CC's also need to have a vested interest in wanting their students to succeed. Any program that's failing 80% of it's students needs to be investigated. Sure occasionally you get a bad group, but if you start seeing a trend something needs to change. In my opinion, you only get out of it what you put into it. Some schools just keep their students more in check. That doesn't necessarily mean a better education.
 

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