Was anyone else like this?


Forum Ride Along
My long term goal is to be an EMT/FF. I don't think I could get into "just EMT" with a private company. Don't get me wrong, I dont want to get into EMS just to be a firefighter but I feel like I have to have both to be happy. Anyone else ever feel like this when they were younger?


EMS Guru
Yep, until I figured out that EMS and Fire Service are two totally different professions and have NOTHING in common.

I keep on wondering why anyone would want to even go into or take any courses or enter any profession that they are "not really into"?

The lights, whistles, bells and sirens tend to grow old very fast and the "adrenaline" wears off (if they are really into their job) after a few calls. One needs to really think out, what it is that really attracts them and what the real job is that they will perform before entering and pursuing a career.

R/r 911


I see dead people
The lights, whistles, bells and sirens tend to grow old very fast and the "adrenaline" wears off (if they are really into their job) after a few calls.

I just wanted to second this statement! One of the best parts of every run for me is marking onscene and being able to turn off that darn siren. It just doesn't save that much time to use it and the lights, and I would rather not go anywhere emergent if I didn't have to do so.

The reason you go into this job may be different for everyone, but for me it is because of runs like the one we had earlier this evening. We were called for a sick person and show up to find an older lady in the bathtub with an altered mental status. She was a known diabetic, so we checked her blood sugar - 35. She was able to talk, albeit, she was very confused and scared. We got some orange juice in her, and some oral glucose and rechecked her sugar a little bit later (aprox 15 min). It had went down to 27. We called for additional help to get her out of the tub and down the stairs. While we waited, I sat in the bathroom on the edge of the tub just holding her hand and talking to her. Eventually, she calmed down (at one point she was crying). We got her onto our cot and transported to the hospital. By the time we got there, she was coming back around - the sugar had finally gotten into her system - and was appropriate. Before leaving the hospital, she thanked me for being so kind to her. It isn't something we expect to hear from our patients, and most of the time we don't. It isn't that most of them don't appreciate what we do - they just have other things on their minds. However, that one run every so often where you do hear it gets you through all the ones where you don't.

If you don't truly care about other people or want to do whatever you are able to at the time of their particular crisis, you don't need to be in this job. I have never had a desire to fight fire, although I do currently work for the fire department. I love the guys on my crew and wouldn't trade them for the world. It's no secret though that while they do the EMS runs, it is the fire runs that really motivate most of them.

Think about what you really expect out of a job, talk to people that do that job, and, if possible, do a ride-along. If this isn't something you have ever really been exposed to I think you may be surprised about what the job actually entails.


Forum Deputy Chief
I used to think along the same lines. I preferred the medical side, but I thought I didn't want to do just medical. I've always liked the prehospital environment, and I like the idea of rescue, extrication, TEMS, HAZMAT, the smell of a house burning, dirty work, and general destruction of property so I figured that I would enjoy firefighting. Now I've realized that it's just not for me and I can't really explain why.

Maybe it's because I subconsciously decided I don't want to do it because I know I can't/shouldn't do it because I'm a 5'5" female that has the knees of an old woman and had asthma as a child.

I do have that lights and sirens addiction, as I think most people in EMS have (although it may fade) but I also just really like helping people, especially if they're in crisis. That's the core thing. You won't last long in public service of any kind, law enforcement, EMS, or fire, if you don't like serving the public. God and everyone on this message board knows you can't go in it for the money or the glory and come out satisfied.

FYI: The ratio will depend on the service you work for, but the FD my SAR team is associated with does about 80% medical and 20% fire. So don't be disappointed if you end up doing much more medical than fire.

On the other hand, Denver Fire does so little medical (they only have BLS on their engines, have few EMTs, and do not transport) that local agencies joke that their ABCs are "arrival, bewilderment, chopper go."
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Forum Crew Member
I'd also like throw in here...I believe you can have a great passion for both. I personally love fighting fire, but, unlike a lot of guys, I don't dread/curse the EMS runs. To me, in the end, it's all about helping people. It may sound "hero like", but, I enjoy being able to help a person through just about any emergency, be it a car wreck, house fire, SOB, or traumatic injury..


Forum Lieutenant
It could depend on the size of the community, as Fire and EMS are sometimes combined duty's. And what I mean by this is The community needs you to be both as the draw pool of those willing to help others and have a separate 9-5 job is thin.
Then there is the times when someone will come up to you and thank you for what you did for their loved one that happened years in the past. You might not remember them, But they remember you.
You do make a difference.


Forum Lieutenant
When I did my training we were trained in fire and rescue along with the EMS. I really enjoyed the rescue aspect of it, but yeah its totally different. To have EMT knowledge at FD and vice versa is a plus point, but you have to specialize in some direction to thoroughly enjoy it.

I am glad I chose the EMS field, but in the same breath I would never trade the knowledge I have gained in my rescue and fire fighter training.


Forum Probie
I had the same.

When I got my EMT because it was part of the fire academy's requirements to graduate. After time I decided that my life was in EMS not Fire. But I know where your comming from.:rolleyes:


Forum Probie
I was confused as a kid why firefighters had to be EMT, but after taking the EMT class I fell in love with the medical aspect. I hope someday to be a fulltime firefighter and paramedic, I want the best of both worlds. I want to be able to put out a structure fire on one call and assist some one medically on another. The best piece of advice I ever heard when it comes to picking a profession: Find a job that you can do for free...if you can do it for free then you truly love and enjoy what you do. Just my two cents.


Forum Captain
Unfortunately, in the area I run in, 95 percent of the area is FIRE based EMS. IE, they run an ambulance out of whatever fire station covers that jurisdiction. All the ones I've contacted want you to be FIRE first and THEN EMT. My heart is mostly in EMS though. For the moment, I'm lucky in that I happen to live in the approximate 5 percent of the area that I can be one, or the other, or both. Since my wife and I plan on moving into an area within the next two years that require you to be fire first, I went ahead and go my 36 hour volunteer firefighter card so I won't have to do it later. And in the meantime, I am volunteering with the fire dept. that covers our area.


Forum Crew Member
Yea kid i love fire i love ems to what u can do is get a job as an EMT and be a vollie ff thats what i do aculy or vice versa some places will hire u as both ik like when theres an ambulance call u got on the call and when theres a fire call u got to the fire call where do u live?


Forum Crew Member
I grew up in a volunteer agency. Our Fire Dept is combined; Fire, Rescue, EMS. When I first joined I was strictly a firefighter. I then took a First Responder class, then EMT.
From experience... I did not think that I would like EMS until I got involved. Give it some time, it grows on ya! I am glad that I did.