Trying to get into the field

gardenvariety

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I recently withdrew from college since the life didn't suit me well - 3rd-year Physics major, high GPA if that's relevant at all - and am trying to figure out the best way to get into the EMT field. I was hoping I could get a couple of answers from you guys on a few things, so if you have any information that could help on any of the following I'd greatly appreciate it.

1. Does anyone know of a good EMT-B program (for certification, of course) located either near South Jersey/Philadelphia, or Annapolis, MD? The more intense the program is, the better, in my opinion. I saw a couple of 14 days straight, 12 hours a day programs that would be optimal for me, but something is better than nothing.

2. What's the job availability for an EMT-B like nowadays? Can I expect to get a job in the field quickly after getting the certification? I'm extremely flexible when it comes to where I'd like to work, though I've heard that EMT work can be a little cushier (better pay, predominantly) over in CA cities like San Diego or San Francisco.

3. How intensive is the training between EMT certifications (ie., EMT-B -> EMT-I -> Paramedic), and is it financially viable to pursue? I'm not overly concerned with the pay from being an EMT, since I've already heard it's pretty lackluster and this is just a job so I can go out and do something I can actually believe in, but I would like to know if it's more viable to progress through EMT ranks or to apply your experience elsewhere, such as in police work.

I don't really know any EMTs, and good information can be hard to come by for this stuff, so thanks a ton if you can help out with any of this stuff. I'll browse around the forums to see if I can find any answers already posted, too.

Thanks!
 

Craig Alan Evans

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My best advice is to go back and finish an undergrad degree in something that does suit you. If medicine suits you then go for premed or physician assistant.
 

tnoye1337

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Hey what's up
In NYS I was able to volunteer for a local ambulance corps for a little and they actually funded my EMT-B program. I've also heard that they're willing to help me out with my intermediate program. As for the rest of the information I'm clueless. Maybe Jersey has something similar with funding the class.
 

Jon

Administrator
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Garden -

Not sure where, exactly, you are, and are looking. Chester and Montgomery Counties in PA will be running accelerated summer daytime EMT classes.

I'm in the Philly area myself. If you give me a little more info as to where you are / where you're willing to go (either in reply or by PM, depending on what you want to put out there), I'll try to point you in the direction of some services that are more accepting of volunteers/observers.

Best advice - Do some ride alongs before you even start class. It is hard to simply explain EMS... except to say that it's about 1% glory... on a good day. I've seen far to many folks get involved in EMS, and then be disappointed when they find out that EMS isn't what they expected.

Jon
 

homingmissile

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3rd year AND high GPA?

There are other members around here more qualified to advise you on EMS career stuff but I think you should try and finish out your degree. Perhaps it was that specific college that didn't agree with you? Consider transferring somewhere else and/or switching major to pre-med?
 

gardenvariety

Forum Ride Along
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I've already tried the transfer bit, and am really just looking to get out of that collegiate bubble. I fully intend on getting my degree at some point, but I want to establish myself somewhere that I'm at least content with living in first. To do so, I'm looking into some possible occupations to keep myself afloat with, and working as an EMT would, in addition to that other stuff, give me a handful of skills that I've always wanted to have and a dose of reality that I think college life has led me to crave. I'm definitely not looking for glory, mind you, or anything like that, I just want to see a bit more of the world in a way that doesn't have me slowly growing to hate it from behind a cash register.

More specifically about location: I'm currently located a couple towns over from Moorestown, in Jersey, and could easily train in Philadelphia since I have a relative living there. Likewise, I've got another relative down in Maryland who's close enough to Annapolis to make it manageable by car that I spend time with on a regular basis. Probably the easiest would be observing/training in NJ, but if a better program is available near either of those two cities, that could likely work as well.

Do you have a link to some information about the Chester and/or Montgomery county EMT classes? I'd definitely check them out to see if it works for me or not.

Thanks again.
 

MedicBender

Forum Captain
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Maryland Fire Rescue Institute holds accelerated EMT-B classes around Annapolis in the summer.

The only down side is Maryland EMT is very dumbed down. They follow the MFRI curriculum instead of the NREMT. There is a way to apply for NREMT after the class, but it's not easy.

You also would have to volunteer for a local VFD to get the training for free.

Some of the community colleges hold summer EMT programs, but I don't have any experiences with them.
 

Jon

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...The only down side is Maryland EMT is very dumbed down. They follow the MFRI curriculum instead of the NREMT. There is a way to apply for NREMT after the class, but it's not easy...
I thought MD was becoming a registry state as of July 2012. Am I wrong?
 

Aprz

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If it's really killing you, continue school and take EMT at the same time. For a degree in Physics, I'd trade EMT in a heart beat no questions asked. Not working towards a degree is one of my biggest life regrets.

1. Can't say. I live in California.

2. From my experience, and what I've read on here, it's very easy to become an EMT (can be done in as little as 10 days), but difficult to find work (didn't get an EMT job until 13 months after becoming certified). The pay is usually equal to or less than fast food workers.

3. From what I hear, Paramedic isn't too difficult either, and judging by the amount of Paramedics in my area, it probably isn't (if you threw a dead cat anywheres, you'd hit 50 EMTs and 10 Paramedics). I've seen people say that the material is intended to be understood by 10th graders, but I cannot personally back that up.
 

systemet

Forum Asst. Chief
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3. How intensive is the training between EMT certifications (ie., EMT-B -> EMT-I -> Paramedic), and is it financially viable to pursue? I'm not overly concerned with the pay from being an EMT, since I've already heard it's pretty lackluster and this is just a job so I can go out and do something I can actually believe in, but I would like to know if it's more viable to progress through EMT ranks or to apply your experience elsewhere, such as in police work.
Depends very greatly on the area you take the program in. I found that the complexity of the information was simpler versus university study, but the volume of information was larger. I spent more time in lecture, and less time doing independent study. It was much more important to be able to integrate the material learned in the classroom into practice in the field than to simply attain good grades.

In my region, my program was M-F, 40 hours / week for 2 years, with 1500 hours of clinicals. It increased my employability and my pay dramatically, even before I'd graduated. Other people's experiences may vary.
 

systemet

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Hey guys, thanks for the replies. I've already tried the transfer bit, and am really just looking to get out of that collegiate bubble. I fully intend on getting my degree at some point, but I want to establish myself somewhere that I'm at least content with living in first.
Thanks again.
I think you might be doing this backwards. While there's probably next to no employability for someone with a B.Sc. in Physics, working as a lab technician probably pays more than working as a basic EMT in most places.

Going back and finishing that degree later is going to be difficult and time-consuming, and expensive. Do you really think it will be easier in 5 years? How long are your previous credits good for? Will you still be able to use them if you wait 10 years? I realise this is none of my business, so I'll shut up.
 

systemet

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If it's really killing you, continue school and take EMT at the same time. For a degree in Physics, I'd trade EMT in a heart beat no questions asked. Not working towards a degree is one of my biggest life regrets.
Not too late. Probably more of a question of what you're willing to sacrifice to do it.
 

Vetitas86

Forum Lieutenant
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+1 to doing both uni and EMT school. Doesn't hurt to have a fallback, but take the degree and run.
 
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