WAKE EMS

DrParasite

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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.
What else is the medic going to do? every call, regardless of nature, gets an response of an ALS capable ambulance. if the call is ALS the medics rides in the back. if it's BLS, the EMT does. if it starts BLS and goes ALS, the crew can switch positions.

As for the rationale for having an all ALS ambulance system vs a tiered system, that was waaaaay above my pay grade.
 

EpiEMS

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What else is the medic going to do? every call, regardless of nature, gets an response of an ALS capable ambulance. if the call is ALS the medics rides in the back. if it's BLS, the EMT does. if it starts BLS and goes ALS, the crew can switch positions.

As for the rationale for having an all ALS ambulance system vs a tiered system, that was waaaaay above my pay grade.
Mine too, mine too. I thought they had an intercept system because of those fancy Chargers, but on further inspection it's just for the APPs (and APP intercepts), as far as I can tell.
 

DrParasite

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APPs are in chargers, district chiefs are in SUVs. the rest of the field providers are on ambulances.
 

DrParasite

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One last thing about Wake EMS: I know a guy who retired from FDNY EMS as a chief officer, and was interested in working in Wake as his post retirement job. He did a ride along, and didn't like it. He is now an EMS Captain at Orange County Emergency Services. I know a guy who waked in the NYC EMS system for several years before moving to NC and working for Wake EMS. He was an APP for several years, either has completed or is near completion of his masters degree, and was recently made a district chief.

If you are used to running 20 calls in 24 hours, or 18 calls in 12 hours, or 12 calls in 12 hours, and that's what you want, Wake EMS IS NOT for you. The pace is a lot slower than many busy agencies, and you are rarely rushed. You have virtually unlimited time for patient care, documentation, and shouldn't get rushed out of the ER unless they have no units available in the county. There are times when you are away from your station from the entire shift, because they do move ups, practice a station based SSM (so you shouldn't be posted on a street corner for your entire shift), and just because you are assigned to the northern part of the county doesn't mean you can't get sucked into downtown or the southern half if you transport to a southern hospital. But you won't experience the "hurry up, we have calls stacking up" or "you need to give your report quickly because there is no one available to cover your primary", at least not on a routine basis.

They pride themselves on being as transparent as reasonable, do offer ridealongs, and their PIO is actually a pretty cool guy to ask questions about the system.

But I do think the best part of Wake EMS is if you don't like it there, or don't like it there after a few years, you can apply to another county EMS agency and all your vacation time, sick time, and pension time will come with you. So if you move to Raleigh, and don't like Wake, you have Durham, Orange, Franklin, Harnett, Nash, and Johnston county EMS systems all within an hour's commute.
 

Handsome Robb

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How does one get a job driving the charger?

I could get onboard with that.


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DrParasite

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be really good at your job on the ambulance for several years, take the APP course, and apply when they have an opening. Expect to be working for all 12 hours of your shift, as they have a 100% time utilization, between emergency calls, clinical QA, prescheduled non-emergency appointments, community outreach etc. Very little downtime, and they do work out of their cars.

But it is the future of EMS, and you aren't stuck on an ambulance, and you do get to respond to major calls in a charger.....
 

TransportJockey

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be really good at your job on the ambulance for several years, take the APP course, and apply when they have an opening. Expect to be working for all 12 hours of your shift, as they have a 100% time utilization, between emergency calls, clinical QA, prescheduled non-emergency appointments, community outreach etc. Very little downtime, and they do work out of their cars.

But it is the future of EMS, and you aren't stuck on an ambulance, and you do get to respond to major calls in a charger.....
That sounds like fun :)

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PotatoMedic

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Wake is sounding better and better... Hope I get my letter to come test!
 

chaz90

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We have a medic at Sussex who came to us from Wake. It's interesting to hear his perspectives on both systems. If I'm ever in the area, I'll certainly try to do a ride along.


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PotatoMedic

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Well got my test dates. How is the interview structured? Are they looking for anything in particular? I guess my over all question is how can I set myself up for success to get the job?
 

Mantis Toboggan

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Well got my test dates. How is the interview structured? Are they looking for anything in particular? I guess my over all question is how can I set myself up for success to get the job?
Upon completion of the PAT, you'll be invited to participate in one of the upcoming 'assessment centers.' On the day of your assessment, you and your fellow applicants (perhaps a dozen or so per 'class') will perform in a four part evaluation (in no particular order): An online multiple choice test, an EKG/12-lead proficiency test (for medics), a realistic scenario/simulation (live, w/ 3G sim-man), as well as a formal interview. A failure in part does not necessarily eliminate a candidate.

Some morsels of advice: flexibility is key--evaluators may abruptly pull you from one assessment to another to test your response; be confident, DO NOT be arrogant. Be honest! If in your interview, you're asked to describe your 'greatest weakness' or flaw, DO NOT provide some moronic non-answer about how you're a "perfectionist", how you're disposed to "work too hard", or "care too much"-- such responses are groan-inducing for discerning interviewers. KNOW YOUR 12-LEAD EKGS! Do your homework--(like any job interview) know the organization to which you're applying, and the population whom you intend to serve. The WCEMS motto is, "prompt, compassionate, clinically excellent care"-- pepper that in during your interview, maybe it'll earn you some bonus points.

**I'm a student by day and a paramedic by night in Wake County. It's a great place to live/work; "The Triangle," is a Mecca of medicine. Never mind the naysayers--we have plenty of top-notch pizza and bagel joints here, though you'll really blow your wad when you taste our beer.
 

DrParasite

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Never mind the naysayers--we have plenty of top-notch pizza and bagel joints here, though you'll really blow your wad when you taste our beer.
Spoken by someone who has never had a real bagel or top notch pizza.... and if you do know of a decent pizza place, PM it to me, I haven't found it yet...

The one thing I would absolutely encourage you to do after your agility test is to go out to dinner (I recommend the Pitt in Downtown Raleigh, I have never leave hungry), and check out the area. Drive around Raleigh, & Cary, look at apartments in the area (after doing some research on prices online), and see what there is to offer.

I have found that most newbies to Wake County live in Raleigh or Cary to start, and after their first year, once they get used to the area, will find either a better place in Raleigh or in one of the suburban cities that surround Raleigh. There are some sketchy apartments, but also some awesome apartment complexes that you can get for under $1000 a month.

If you are looking to relocate to the triangle, Orange County / Chapel Hill is also accepting applications for paramedics , as well as EMTs, as is Durham county for paramedics and EMTs . They all have their ups and downs, and I know people who have left Wake for Durham, Wake for Orange, Orange for Durham, Durham for Orange, Orange for Wake, as well as other counties. It all boils down to what you are looking for, and if you are happy where you are at.

For full disclosure, I currently work part time for a Wake County Fire Department, and previously worked EMS in both Wake and Orange counties, before accepting a full time position in the private sector. I love the area, love the region, and think that if you want to have a career in EMS, this is definitely the place to do it.
 

TransportJockey

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Spoken by someone who has never had a real bagel or top notch pizza.... and if you do know of a decent pizza place, PM it to me, I haven't found it yet...

The one thing I would absolutely encourage you to do after your agility test is to go out to dinner (I recommend the Pitt in Downtown Raleigh, I have never leave hungry), and check out the area. Drive around Raleigh, & Cary, look at apartments in the area (after doing some research on prices online), and see what there is to offer.

I have found that most newbies to Wake County live in Raleigh or Cary to start, and after their first year, once they get used to the area, will find either a better place in Raleigh or in one of the suburban cities that surround Raleigh. There are some sketchy apartments, but also some awesome apartment complexes that you can get for under $1000 a month.

If you are looking to relocate to the triangle, Orange County / Chapel Hill is also accepting applications for paramedics , as well as EMTs, as is Durham county for paramedics and EMTs . They all have their ups and downs, and I know people who have left Wake for Durham, Wake for Orange, Orange for Durham, Durham for Orange, Orange for Wake, as well as other counties. It all boils down to what you are looking for, and if you are happy where you are at.

For full disclosure, I currently work part time for a Wake County Fire Department, and previously worked EMS in both Wake and Orange counties, before accepting a full time position in the private sector. I love the area, love the region, and think that if you want to have a career in EMS, this is definitely the place to do it.
You're really making me think more about your area, especially as a backup plan if we implode after going to 12s... now if I could just convince the GF that the winters there would be nothing like they were for her in NJ
 

Handsome Robb

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You're really making me think more about your area, especially as a backup plan if we implode after going to 12s... now if I could just convince the GF that the winters there would be nothing like they were for her in NJ
Pretty sure Wake runs primarily 12s.


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DrParasite

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You're really making me think more about your area, especially as a backup plan if we implode after going to 12s... now if I could just convince the GF that the winters there would be nothing like they were for her in NJ
Winters in NC are NOTHING like in Jersey..... in NJ, you go to school with 6 inches of snow on the ground, because they plow the roadsways.... in NC, the state shuts down with an inch of snow in the forecast. It gets cold, but nowhere near as cold as NJ, at least not on a regular basis. and the cost of living in NC is half of what NJ was.

BTW, Wake is transitioning almost all their trucks to 12s, as is Durham, but Orange is half 12s and half 24/72, Johnston is all 24/72, and Franklin is all 24/72. I think Nash is a mix of 12 and 24s, as is Granville.
 

TransportJockey

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Pretty sure Wake runs primarily 12s.


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I'm ok with 12s. But the people here have never done 12s and they are making it seem that going to 12s w/ a hefty raise is one of the worst thigns in the world
 

TransportJockey

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Winters in NC are NOTHING like in Jersey..... in NJ, you go to school with 6 inches of snow on the ground, because they plow the roadsways.... in NC, the state shuts down with an inch of snow in the forecast. It gets cold, but nowhere near as cold as NJ, at least not on a regular basis. and the cost of living in NC is half of what NJ was.

BTW, Wake is transitioning almost all their trucks to 12s, as is Durham, but Orange is half 12s and half 24/72, Johnston is all 24/72, and Franklin is all 24/72. I think Nash is a mix of 12 and 24s, as is Granville.
Lol that's what I have told her. I might send her a link to your post since you're intimately familiar with NJ winters lol. She was in Morris County and said that she is so sick of snow it's stupid. but I miss having seasons down here where I am.
 

NomadicMedic

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I LOVED 12s at Sussex. Working 24s blows after that schedule.

@DrParasite what would you say are points of differentiation between Orange and Wake? (I just got a emailjob alert for Orange this morning)
 

DrParasite

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I liked Orange County EMS, particularly working in Chapel Hill.

Wake has more money, more resources, and (theoretically) more positions for advancement. When you need medical control, you call the medical director on his cell phone. It's a huge system, so if you are assigned to a northern county truck, you might never see your coworker who works in the south. Wake County EMS (as a whole) is incredibly arrogant. Not every individual, but the system is good at what they do, they only want it done their way, and they work hard on quashing new ideas, unless they come from internally. They know they are one of the best, and have the numbers to back it up. And I will reiterate, if you can conform to their way of thinking, and drink the coolaid, you can and will be very successful. Esp if you think everything that Wake EMS does is always right, the greatest, and cannot be wrong. Their 24s work WOWOWOOOO, and you make less per hour than the people who work 12 hour shifts, but make the same every week, despite working more hours. I found Wake to be incredibly slow, although I did go from a busy urban system in NJ to one of the surrounding towns outside of Raleigh.

Orange is smaller. They work 24/72s (which are much better than what Wake and the FDs work), as well as 12 hour shifts. You know everyone, because there are only 9 trucks covering the entire county. It's smaller, was very advanced 20 years ago, but changed in leadership (who are now longer at their positions) has caused it to fall behind. It is improving, and working hard on catching up, getting additional funding, and has some great field supervisors who support their people. If you want to work Rural EMS, north Hillsborough is definitely it. I am more of a city guy, so I liked Chapel Hill.

I would apply to Orange County if I was you. Worst case scenario, you kill some some on the app, and start in Wake. Or you can not start in Wake, start in Orange, move and get settled, and transfer between counties.

I've made friends with people who work in counties the surround Wake, surround Orange, as well as teach with people from all over Central NC. People will complain about their systems, and many have came to Wake and left from Wake for other systems. If you can drink the coolaid, and tolerate the Wake EMS way of doing stuff, than by all means come on down. If you find you can't, there are plenty of systems that are looking for experienced paramedics (within an hour's drive of Raleigh, and if they do 24/72s, I would stretch that to an hour and a half), and some might even be better than Wake, without the amazing public information office.
 

TransportJockey

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Orange sounds exactly like I would be looking for if I left here. Maybe I'll see you out there eventually
 
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