WAKE EMS

VentMonkey

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depends on your definition of cutting edge. Wake Paramedics are pretty independent, and they do base all they do on evidence based medicine. And they are always looking to make improvements, if it improves patient care.
no, their protocols are pretty transparent, and they tend to post the updated copies on their website. Their medical director is heavily involved in the system, and updates them as needed.
pro: almost all units are assigned to a physical stations, with very few street corner postings. they tend to have nice equipment, and when there is a major call (cardiac arrest, penetrating trauma, major MVA, fire, etc), they send more than just one EMS resource to the scene.

Con: they do relocations quite often, and if you can't adjust to the wake EMS way of doing things, you will have a very short career. There is the right way, the wrong way and the Wake EMS way, which might not be right, but it's how they want it done.
pretty successful. gives paramedics something to do besides be on an ambulance. and allows them to proactively prevent calls from occurring, especially with frequent fliers.
Very helpful, thank you!
 

DrParasite

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Orange County is the home of Chapel Hill and Hillsborough. Northern third is rural, middle third is a mix of rural and suburban with a little urban areas, southern third is a good mix of suburban and urban (well, what they call Urban in Chapel Hill), and I enjoyed working there. And if you are a college sports fan, they love the Tar Heals.

One thing I would "caution" you, especially coming from a tiered system like DE (and NJ, and other places that put paramedics in flycars where they only deal with ALS patients). Since it's an all ALS system, you won't be seeing as many sick patients, since you will have plenty of BLS patients, and patients who are treated with an IV lock and a ride to the hospital just because. I know there are plenty of new paramedics (less than 3 years) who haven't intubated a real person in the field, haven't ran a multi system trauma in over a year, and haven't treated a really sick person in over a month.

I would like to clarify one of my earlier statements. When I said "There is the right way, the wrong way and the Wake EMS way, which might not be right, but it's how they want it done" I didn't mean to imply it wasn't right; there are some times when they are wrong (like how they misidentify a particular piece of equipment constantly, and despite the fact that the manufacturer calls it the correct name, and the item that they are referring to is another item they sell, but I digress), but like every agency, there are just things that they do that are unique to their system. not necessarily wrong, but just the Wake EMS way (which in some cases, may be how the rest of the world is doing things, they are just ahead of the curve).

And for the record, I know Skip too (I think I still have his cell number in my phone), and what his opinion and the field provider's opinion are of Durham EMS are a little different.

I guess the real question is, what exactly are you looking for in an EMS agency, in a state of residence, and what features are you looking for if you were going to move?
 

PotatoMedic

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Really appreciate all this information. Helping make a decision easier
 

VentMonkey

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Also, they do wear those nifty polos. I miss being able to wear my AMR polo shirt.
 

NomadicMedic

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Wake has Paramedic openings posted for the January assessment center with an academy start date of March 2017.

Still trying to decide if I want to apply. My wife's job is decent.
 
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PotatoMedic

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I'm applying... But not sure I would be able to accept. It is about two months before I have permission to move. :p
 

DrParasite

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Wake has Paramedic openings posted for the January assessment center with an academy start date of March 2017.

Still trying to decide if I want to apply. My wife's job is decent.
If I were you, I would apply. Come down for the assessment center (it's usually a 2 day process, so you can get a hotel for the night), and less than a 6 hour drive from Delaware. Come down for the practical, speak to their people (I can pass your info to some people who already made the transition from the NE to NC in both wake, orange and durham's systems), check out the area and if you pass the agility test, do the interview the next day and drive home.

Now if they make you an offer, and it's worth it to move, than you can speak to the wife about relocating (although I would recommend waiting until after you finish their academy to move the wife, because you might not like it once you are in the system).
 

TransportJockey

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NomadicMedic

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@DrParasite, you've mentioned that one might not like the system several times. Can you elaborate on why? What makes it so different?

(In looking at the policies and culture, it seems very similar to Sussex)
 

DrParasite

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the Wake EMS system is one of the best systems I have seen. They are active in EMS research, have one of the highest CPR save rates in the nation, have several positions in the agency that do not involve being on the ambulance (supervisors, APPs, logistics, administration, etc), and send additional EMS resources to EMS calls when needed (penetrating traumas, serious MVAs, major incidents, etc). In theory, the sky is the limit.

There is always a downside. From what I have seen, they prefer their EMTs to be home grown, and want them to be medic helpers, not actual providers. Last I checked, half of their paramedics come from other states. Some aren't able to adjust to the "wake EMS" way of doing things. IE, you need to drink the cool aid to be successful at Wake EMS. This also means they don't care what you know, your experience doesn't count for crap (except for your initial starting wage), they want you to do things their way, or not at all. They have a pretty intensive field training process, where they evaluate you on everything; and some of their FTOs suck. And they have callback / inservice training for 4-8 hours every 2 or 3 months, and it's mandatory, so while it is paid (and can be OT if you schedule it right), it is another day you need to be at work.

If your a newbie EMT, and want a career in EMS, I encourage you to go to Wake EMS, because they will train you the way they want. With no experience, everything they say will be gospel, and then you can go to paramedic school and become a full fledged member of Wake EMS. Ditto if you are a newbie medic. if you don't know anything else, Wake EMS is a great place to have your career.

If you're an experienced provider, and can drink the koolaid, and are willing to accept that everything your FTO says is always right, and put aside all your prior experience until you get fully released, and want to have an actual EMS career, than I would absolutely look at Wake EMS.

Looking at the number from my academy class: 16 of us started day 1.... 12 graduated. of that 12, 6 are still working in the Wake EMS system; the rest are not for various reason. Draw your own conclusions on that one.

But I will say it again, if you want to have an actual career in a non-fire based EMS system, and not just a job, Wake EMS (and all the contracting agencies in the Wake EMS system) will absolutely provide that to you.
 

DrParasite

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Just comparing it to sussex: Sussex is an all ALS system, with a tiered response, where they are all in fly cars (2 medics per truck), and they only go on ALS calls (in theory anyway). BLS calls are handled by the local ambulances. But that's about all I know about sussex

Wake is an all ALS ambulance system, where they go on every call (either dual medic or medic/EMT). so you will see a lot of BLS calls (but wake does allow the EMT to ride in and write the chart on them). Wake medics rarely call the doc for orders; and if they do need to call the doc, they don't call the ER, they call the medical director or associate medical director on his cell phone. Their protocols are all online at http://www.wakegov.com/ems/medical/Pages/systemtreatmentprotocols.aspx

Sussex population is 206.000. Wake is around 1 million an growing rapidly.

I know people who have been at wake for years, and have been very happy. I know others who were there for years, and then left for other agencies in NC. And others who didn't make it out of their field training, and went back to their home states. It really comes down to your individual personality, your expectations, and how well you can acclimate to their system.

Just don't expect to find any decent pizza or bagels anywhere in the state. It doesn't exist, and locals don't know what they are missing
 

PotatoMedic

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No pizza or bagels?! I may have to rethink wake...
 

EpiEMS

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Wake is an all ALS ambulance system, where they go on every call (either dual medic or medic/EMT). so you will see a lot of BLS calls (but wake does allow the EMT to ride in and write the chart on them).
Do they have a rationale for this? I get wanting every patient to have an ALS assessment/triage to BLS, but do they really need to have medics driving around BLS calls? Seems like a waste of money.
 
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