should a 50 year old go to EMT school?

nolajoins

Forum Ride Along
2
0
1
Hi, apologies in advance if you see this posted in a few places, I am posting it on a couple of forums due to low level of activity on each.





I am 50 years old and have a decent job. Problem is the job is rather niche for the city I live in and my girlfriend and I want to find a new place to live. So my question is, what is the prognosis for people coming out of EMT school at 50 years old? Will anyone hire someone my age who has no previous experience.





Oddly enough, I went to EMT school for a while when I was 17 but never finished or worked in the field. At the time, you had to be 21 to get on with a good company (the ones contracted with 911). So I would have been making less money to finish and start in the field. Life happened and I never got back to it. Unfortunately, I never furthered my education in any other way.





The follow up question is, what are the avenues for aging people in this field to be able to keep going. Like are there good opportunities to work special venues, etc that wouldn’t require as much taxing work as 911 ambulance drivers?
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
11,057
1,506
113
If you can perform the physical aspects of the job, there is no reason you couldn't become an EMT. Your life experiences may even help you when dealing with patients and situations, since by now I'm sure you've learned to temper any gung-ho attitudes you may have had.

Unfortunately, EMT jobs don't pay well, are often merely seen as a stepping stone to paramedic or nursing.
 

ffemtrb

Forum Probie
20
16
3
I am 68 years old, have been an EMT for 47 years and am a member of a rural volunteer fire department that provides EMS with 2 ambulances and a paramedic fly car. I find being a volunteer Firefighter/EMT very rewarding and I feel a sense of pride in helping those in my community in their time of need.
To answer your question I a few questions to ask you to clarify. How much do you know about EMS? Have you done any ride time
on an ambulance? Are you looking to be part of a paid agency or a volunteer ambulance or volunteer rescue squad?
Will you be relocating to an urban or rural area? Will you be taking on a new primary employment in your new location or are you going into retirement? What type of emergency services are in the area you are considering to relocate to?(i.e. career fire, commercial ambulance, volunteer fire, volunteer EMS).
What physical condition are you in? Do you have any medical issues that would limit you?
And finally what are your girlfriend's plans/intentions? Does she plan to take part in EMS? It may be less of a strain on relationship
if you both consider being involved in EMS. If you are relocating to a rural area, most fire and EMS is provided by volunteer agencies ( volunteer fire based service or independent volunteer EMS). Have you considered serving in a volunteer agency? If you are looking to be paid as a part of
a commercial service, carefully analyze pay scales, and for public agencies look at civil service requirements.
I wish you good luck in your endeavors and hope you will join the ranks of emergency responders.
 

mgr22

Forum Deputy Chief
1,670
830
113
The follow up question is, what are the avenues for aging people in this field to be able to keep going. Like are there good opportunities to work special venues, etc that wouldn’t require as much taxing work as 911 ambulance drivers?
Medic pay would make it much easier for you to stay in the field. Could you go to school for that before you leave your current job, or while someone else is paying the bills?

I worked in the entertainment business as a medic from ages 54 to 60. I wouldn't say it was physically easier than conventional 911. Finding patients, moving equipment and dealing with the public were sometimes harder. I mention that just to reassure you that you can do "taxing work" at 50 if you're in decent shape.
 

DennisM

Forum Ride Along
4
4
3
I did EMT class at 52, and was 24 years older than the next younger student (seriously, by walking into the room I brought the average/mean age of the class up by more ten years.) EMS was a "collateral duty" at my LE job pre-retirement, which means the .gov paid for the training and gave me cool toys, neither which I basically ever used because-- see above-- it was a collateral duty in a small federal agency. After I retired last year, I wanted to keep my feet in the figurative pool. EMS has been a rewarding way to do it.

Physical aspect: No aspect of the job is worth a) new back injuries or b) aggravating existing back injuries. Back injuries are the national sport of EMS. Basic physical fitness can make a difference; folks who lack core strength generally resort to strange and unusual body contortions to lift. And no matter what aspect of the field you step into, you're physically manipulating/lifting/moving an increasingly heavy population. You're the only guy in the room who knows if you're OK with that.

Hiring: If your locality is like mine, nobody (except for public services where maximum entry age is a "thing" because of retirement rules) will care about your age, so long as you're physically able and not in severe cognitive decline. In SE Pennsylvania, you could walk into any of a dozen or more private services who are constantly hiring; with an EMT card still warm from the printer, zero relevant experience, an odd odor about you, and a nervous tic, you'd be on the schedule by the next business day. The nervous tic might keep you out of the "paid" side of some of the part-paid/part-volunteer squads, but not from the volunteer side.

Options outside the truck for a Basic: Around here, special events and standby gigs are out there, basically part-time. Construction jobs come up periodically (know that a lot of these you're a "cost control" tool, not so much a walking first aid kit, and will have additional duties like vetting -- translated, discouraging-- Worker's Comp cases, safety inspections, etc) and might require some additional certs... OSHA and the like. Pay ranges from unconscionably low to borderline acceptable for the cost of living in this area. Many of the retirement communities around here also hire EMTs in security roles, and pay on the high side of that range.

Options for a Medic: Around here, unlimited, including community paramedicine, training, clinical settings, etc. Pay somewhat closer to "acceptable" or "decent." Truth told, most non-Fire medics I know have a variety of side gigs ongoing, and with savvy scheduling they do quite well.

An EMT basic program is pretty low-risk (low cost, typically, and no obligation to actually work once you are certified) so if you have a glimmer of an interest, I'd encourage you to give it a shot. You'd have to do some very focused research on your intended locale if you're looking to move, but that shouldn't be a particularly heavy task.
 

Califteacher

Forum Probie
11
6
3
I was 65 when I went to EMT school. I was a retired teacher who finally had the time and ability to "follow my passions." Of course, the other 30 students in my class were all 20-year olds. For 6 years, I have worked part time for Event Medics, working special events and endurance sporting events, like Tough Mudder and Spartan races.

When I graduated (first in my class) from EMT school, I figured that there would be few ambulance jobs for someone my age, and didn't apply. Also, I have had a beard for decades and would be required to shave. Lastly, with a good pension, I didn't need to work and could pick and choose what I wanted to do. In hindsight, it might have been better to have applied for ambulance work for perhaps a year in order to get the "trauma experience" that I lack.

At 72, I am still working special events as an EMT. Being in good shape, no one thinks that I am that old, and no one has ever mentioned my age. Most just assume that I am a seasoned medical professional. I will renew my license for two more years and likely call it quits.
 
OP
OP
N

nolajoins

Forum Ride Along
2
0
1
I am 68 years old, have been an EMT for 47 years and am a member of a rural volunteer fire department that provides EMS with 2 ambulances and a paramedic fly car. I find being a volunteer Firefighter/EMT very rewarding and I feel a sense of pride in helping those in my community in their time of need.
To answer your question I a few questions to ask you to clarify. How much do you know about EMS? Have you done any ride time
on an ambulance? Are you looking to be part of a paid agency or a volunteer ambulance or volunteer rescue squad?
Will you be relocating to an urban or rural area? Will you be taking on a new primary employment in your new location or are you going into retirement? What type of emergency services are in the area you are considering to relocate to?(i.e. career fire, commercial ambulance, volunteer fire, volunteer EMS).
What physical condition are you in? Do you have any medical issues that would limit you?
And finally what are your girlfriend's plans/intentions? Does she plan to take part in EMS? It may be less of a strain on relationship
if you both consider being involved in EMS. If you are relocating to a rural area, most fire and EMS is provided by volunteer agencies ( volunteer fire based service or independent volunteer EMS). Have you considered serving in a volunteer agency? If you are looking to be paid as a part of
a commercial service, carefully analyze pay scales, and for public agencies look at civil service requirements.
I wish you good luck in your endeavors and hope you will join the ranks of emergency responders.
no my girlfriend will not be in EMS. With her job she can move anywhere. We will be going to another city, yet a slightly smaller one. I would be doing this as my primary job so not volunteer though I would probably enjoy some of that as well. I am not in position to retire but my girlfriend is already the bread winner in the family so I just need a field that I can get a job (and possibly continue school to a better job). I am in fantastic shape for a 50 year old. I spend all day carrying wine cases and I can run laps around most 30 year olds. But I know its a slippery slope and am worried any agency hiring may have that concern.
 

FlorianFred

Forum Probie
19
7
3
Ageism is certainly a real thing....I can speak from experience on it, but only in regards to jobs outside of EMS. That said, I'm currently in an environment where the labor-supply is low, and the demand for EMS workers is high -- so even a "geezer" like me (significantly older than yourself), would likely have success. I don't live in a big city....I don't even live in a big town, and given the demand in my county and the surrounding counties, our paid ambulance service would likely take an octogenarian if they could handle the "lift test". I'm exaggerating (of course), but I'm watching the young and old(er) be enticed with signing bonuses and promises of education if they join the EMS workforce.

I would get a sense of the labor market for pre-hospitalization services for the city (and surrounding burbs) you're looking to relocate to. Good luck and keep us posted.
 
Top