too old for EMT?

Weezy

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Hi, I'm a 54 year old woman, I graduated last year from EMR and will be taking my EMT this fall. I have been on 4 uneventful ride alongs so I haven't been able to test myself in the field yet. Do you think I'm too old to be pursuing this type of career? I'm working on getting in better shape physically and I loved the learning aspect of it in EMR but every thread I look at has people 35-40 wondering if they're too old? A little scary! Honest input would be greatly appreciated!
 

HotelCo

Forum Deputy Chief
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Do I think so? No.

Do I think your age may work against you in your employment search? Yes.

Be persistent, and play to your strengths in the interviews.
 

usafmedic45

Forum Deputy Chief
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One of the best students I ever had was in his late 70s and decided to join the volunteer fire department to work alongside his son and grandson.
 

Odylic

Forum Ride Along
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I have a number of good friends that are 60+ in the field, most are with volly services unless they are medics, and most have 20+ years of experience. In general I would rather run with an 'older' crew than a bunch of youngsters since I have found that there are less egos involved the older we get.
 
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Weezy

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Well that is very encouraging, do you think the physical aspect of the job will do me in? I'm usually really good at interviews and I figure the other jobs I've held in my life will surely come into play in some way. Thanks for your quick responses, because I've been agonizing. It's important to me to hear from people in the field. I will continue my ride alongs and volunteering as an EMR to hopefully test my skills!
 

Odylic

Forum Ride Along
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As far as physical demands, it depends greatly on typical volume of calls, type of calls, and crew size. Unfortunately I know a number of fairly overweight people in EMS in my area, and somehow they survive. Biggest concern IMHO is cardio training and core strength. But depending on your situation, you may need to focus more on general strength training. Individual training amounts vary greatly in both scope, level of intensity, and frequency.

I know that my answer may not be as definitive as you would like, but it is the most honest answer I can give
 
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Weezy

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That's exactly the kind of honest answer that I need. I am focusing on core and strength training. It's slow going but I figure I have at least 7 months until my first practicum. I will also spend more time on cardio. Your input is very valuable, thanks so much for taking the time to answer.
 

ArcticKat

Forum Captain
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Age is irrelevant. Your physical and mental ability to do the job is what is important. One of my EMTs just retired in December and she is 70 years old. I have another EMT who is 67 this year.

So long as you can do the job, have at 'er!!!! Your wisdom and maturity would actually be considered by some employers as an asset.
 

steveshurtleff

Forum Crew Member
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I very recently completed my EMT-B class, started when 38, completed after turning 39. Most of the rest of the class members were in their early 20's if not younger. The instructor was a 53 year-old female. When we did our lab for behavioral emergencies, it took 2 students to take her down and 7 to keep her down. So are you too old? Definitely not.

I have also heard of both males and females in their 50's successfully completing firefighter training. So in the end, if it's something you want to do, you will.
 
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Weezy

Forum Probie
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Wow, that is inspiring-I think I'd have to work out a lot longer to reach that status! I really do want this and I'm just going to have to make it work!
 

fortsmithman

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You're not too old for this line of work. Go for it. At my service we have 2 members in their 50's. I'm curious are you from Alberta by any chance.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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How are the joints?

I'm 58 in June, but I knew I wasn't going to hack being a firefighter paramedic into my middle years as early as the tender age of 26. Good genes and luck or lack of lingering injury will let you do this. Keep working upwards so your value moves from a strong back to a level and experienced mind.
 
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Weezy

Forum Probie
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Yes, I am concerned about the strength of my back-I think my mind can handle it though! Yes I am from Alberta and will be going to SAIT in the fall. I'm just going to train as much as possible, take my schooling and let the chips fall where they may! I figure I've had a couple of careers so far and I might as well try this.
 

Outbac1

Forum Asst. Chief
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Go for it. I started my PCP when I was 43, then went for my ACP when I was 48. Physically you need to lift a reasonable amount. You do need to lift your end of the stretcher and move people in and out of beds. With a reasonable weight training program, and good technique you will be surprised at what you can do.

Good luck.
 

Archymomma

Forum Crew Member
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Go for it.

I was in my mid 30's when I originally did my EMT training in CO. Then when I moved to MO I let it lapse (marriage/kids) did my refresher when I was 43. I've been working for our County's 911 service for almost 2 yrs now.

In our service, there are a few people (both Medics & EMTs) that are in their upper 40's to upper 50's. We run a high volume of calls both 911 and transfers. When I started with them I was 40+ lbs heavier and would huff and puff getting up stairs with the bag. I would say definately keeping weight in a healthy range and strength training is a much bigger thing than age.
 

emt seeking first job

Forum Asst. Chief
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Hi, I'm a 54 year old woman, I graduated last year from EMR and will be taking my EMT this fall. I have been on 4 uneventful ride alongs so I haven't been able to test myself in the field yet. Do you think I'm too old to be pursuing this type of career? I'm working on getting in better shape physically and I loved the learning aspect of it in EMR but every thread I look at has people 35-40 wondering if they're too old? A little scary! Honest input would be greatly appreciated!

I was 44 when I got my card.

IMHO, just do it.

I had a 45 year old patient literally crawling on the floor. He showed me a photo of him seventy two year old mother who had just got her card and was vollying in NJ.

Just get out there and do it and take it as far as you can.
 

EMT-IT753

Forum Lieutenant
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I am 39 today...

and graduated from the paramedic program this past Friday. Most of my class was in their early 20's, one guy was 46, and a couple of us were in our 30's. If you can do the job, age is irrelevant. It may be tough to find a job with a full time service, but definitely not impossible.
 

emt seeking first job

Forum Asst. Chief
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and graduated from the paramedic program this past Friday. Most of my class was in their early 20's, one guy was 46, and a couple of us were in our 30's. If you can do the job, age is irrelevant. It may be tough to find a job with a full time service, but definitely not impossible.

Congratulations on completing your program.
 

bstone

Forum Deputy Chief
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As long as you're in good shape I think you should try it!
 
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