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I understand but this is definitely private- Ive applied for Sussex you see and just seeking some info that isn't listed anywhere online. I couldnt find a private message button so maybe I dont have the permission yet lol
I have been trying to read up all the posts and it is obvious you liked the job there, how many years were you there and why did you leave if it is such a great job? Also, I am unfamiliar with the DE area, what is there to do in the general areas; i have a wife and 3 kids so I would need to have some type of family activities in the area besides just having the beaches. In your opinion, what was the best part and worst part of working at SCEMS? Did you feel the opportunities for promotion were available and adequate? What is a realistic salary for entry, 5yrs, 10yrs etc? Sorry I hate to make this feel like an interview but there are a lot of things that going into making such a decision. Thanks for your time.
I loved it. Seriously, I think it may be the best job a paramedic can find. If I didn't get sucked back into radio, I'd probably never have left. I was there for just under 4 years. Plenty of promotional opportunity. Money is good, there's a pay scale floating around somewhere. I have an old one in my email somewhere. I think brand new medics start around 19 bucks?
There's a fair amount of beach type stuff. Hunting, fishing and the like. Most of the county is pretty rural. Not a lot going on there.
Best part was the system. Good call volume. Great equipment. Decent protocols. Varied stations. Working out of a sprint truck. It was seriously a great job.
Worst part? It was in Delaware. Best part of living there was finding my wife. I found DE as a whole to be kind of insular and the "good ol boy" network is alive and well. It's like Louisiana without the gators.
I find there's more to "do" in the eastern part of the county. It's much more developed in the Lewes/Rehoboth Beach area compared to most of the county, and many of the restaurants and shops are staying open year round now instead of just the summer months. I don't have any kids so I have no idea what people do with theirs for fun, but there are a lot of parents groups and such in the area. Many of my friends with kids are pretty into RV or camper based camping near the water in Maryland. Assateague and Chincoteague are only a short drive away. There are also a large number of state parks and such in Sussex county. Fishing and hunting are big hobbies that also seem to take up a lot of time for people in the spring and fall, leaving winter as the quieter months.
The relatively close proximity to real metropolitan areas has helped me keep my sanity in Delaware. It's different being single and childless, but I seem to go to Philly, DC, or Baltimore every few weeks. They obviously have the normal range of shows, sporting events, and cultural diversity that southern Delaware lacks. Getting to any of them is pretty straightforward and certainly a reasonable day trip.
I can't say Kent or New Castle counties are overly appealing to me in comparison to Sussex. Kent (center of the state and covers Dover) is very similar to Sussex in that it is mostly rural and farm based. It actually has, I believe, a slightly lower population than Sussex and doesn't get the big influx of tourists. Without beaches, I'm really not sure what brings people there. There are some things that Dover has to offer, but it's not busy enough or metropolitan in any way to make me want to live in that area. There's a mall, more restaurants, and some stores that Sussex doesn't have. I have no interest in NASCAR, so Dover can keep that. It's only a 50 minute drive from my house in Sussex anyway. Kent County EMS seems, from my perspective, to struggle a bit more in EMS delivery than we do. They don't seem to enjoy the same level of support from their county government, and they have struggled to increase staffing and medic unit coverage as call volume has increased. They're more overworked than we are, and their morale seems to reflect that. Please take that with a grain of salt, as I have very little first person experience in Kent.
New Castle County EMS is a different ball game. They have a much larger population and call volume than the other counties. They have stations, but no bunks and really have too high of call volume to sleep most nights. They are significantly more rural and violent, and their overall approach to medicine and EMS is indicative of their shorter transport times and potential for conflict everywhere they go. It's run in a much more paramilitary manner than the other counties.
I've worked for SCEMS for about three years now. I don't plan on retiring from there, but I absolutely recognize the appeal. It is a career department. We have a lot of people who have worked here 25 years and are in the process of retiring out with full pensions, and many more at various stages of their careers who are planning to work their full 25.
Honestly, of all the EMS systems I've seen, I think this is one of the most amenable to allowing a paramedic to work an entire career in EMS and retire with an intact mind and body. Our call volume is very reasonable and does not lead to rapid burnout, our stations are comfortable, and we always have enough manpower on scene that we don't have to blow out our backs trying to be a hero and lift something we shouldn't alone. There's a lot of management and supervisor turnover that is going to happen in the near future, and like anywhere else, we're not perfect. I'm not going to bad mouth anything in particular on an open forum, but I recognize that we have room for improvement in some aspects.
It's typically more than 3 months. We call it "the process." It's nothing more than a longer than average FTO period. I've made a pretty long post on it before, but I can't find it readily. I'm on vacation now, but I'll try to reply a bit more when I get a chance.