Will this prevent me from working in EMS?

MDF

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Hello all, I enrolled in a local technical college with the intention of becoming an EMT, then working as one for a year or so then going to medic school. The problem is 7 years ago I got arrested for an underage DUI charge after leaving a party, I was 19 years old. I was wondering if I can still work in EMS after that?
 

Aprz

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It's like having a blackmark on your record. Very few people with a DUI history work in our field. The odds are against you, but some people do manage to get a job.

I would strongly consider another field. It is gonna be tough and not favorable for you. I know people do get jobs after a DUI, but it's rare.
 

PotatoMedic

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The good news in your case is it has been 7 years. I know some applications ask if you ever have had a DUI and some have said have you ever had a DUI in the past 7 years.

Apply. See what happens. It could be a road block, or a speed bump.
 

akflightmedic

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Being that is has been 7 years and assuming you have nothing else on your record since then, I would NOT give up your current pursuit. If it was a few years or less, then absolutely I would advise you to do something else.

What I do recommend is see what the state laws are, if any about this matter and public safety (most likely none). I would also then pull up the application and new hire process for all the companies or services in my area that I wanted to work for. I would see what they ask for up front in regards to background checks and disqualifiers. I would then have zero issue approaching them now, explaining my situation and current plans and then ask directly would something like that exclude me from employment with them.

Take control of your situation and make it happen.
 

DrParasite

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DUI 7 years ago, clean license since? I wouldn't stress it.

As previously mentioned, ask the companies you are looking at applying for if it's a dealbreaker. If it is, thank them for their time, and apply elsewhere.

It's not a career killer, but it can make things tough (esp if you are competing for that first job against those without DUIs). only one way to find out
 

CentralCalEMT

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I really think it depends on what state you are in and what the job market is like in the area you want to work. In the past, when it was more competitive to get into EMS, a DUI was a real career killer in many if not most places. However, at the present time, when most agencies are in need of people, it very well may not be. Assuming it was a strait misdemeanor DUI with no accidents or enhanced charges, the good news is the amount of time between your DUI and now. Most companies want to see a significant amount of time between issues such as that and when you apply. Where I work in California, I personally know several people that did get hired with a DUI, but it was right at or past the 7 year mark. It may very well be different in other states. I would do what other posters have said and call the companies you want to work for. If it is a hard no from all of them you have two options. Either you can choose a different career path, or you can complete your course and get your National Registry and look to relocate somewhere where the job market is more favorable to you. If EMS is what you are passionate about, you may have to make some sacrifices to make it happen. Good luck with whatever you choose!
 

GMCmedic

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I know Medics with multiple DUI's and no drivers license that are still actively working. Obviously they have to be in the back for every patient transport, but they're still getting a paycheck.

It probably won't be an issue, but if it was someone would still hire you eventually.
 

DrParasite

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I know Medics with multiple DUI's and no drivers license that are still actively working. Obviously they have to be in the back for every patient transport, but they're still getting a paycheck.

It probably won't be an issue, but if it was someone would still hire you eventually.
I'd be willing to bet these medics were medics for a while, and already employed by their agency when they get their DUIs. That means their employers were really nice and were willing to work with them. Much different case when comparing an employed paramedic who gets a DUI and a new hire with no experience who is still looking for their first paramedic job.
 

GMCmedic

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I'd be willing to bet these medics were medics for a while, and already employed by their agency when they get their DUIs. That means their employers were really nice and were willing to work with them. Much different case when comparing an employed paramedic who gets a DUI and a new hire with no experience who is still looking for their first paramedic job.

Both were fairly new medics, IIRC they were both part timers at the time of the DUI's


The point is, someone is always desperate enough.
 
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Akulahawk

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I would say that the time between the initial conviction (seven years ago) and now is a big deciding factor between whether or not you should be hired. At least, based on the DUI. The fact that you have gone seven years without an additional conviction on your record is a big plus towards you being more likely to be hired versus not considered because of the amount of time that has passed. If you had been considering this career, say four years ago, the odds of you being hired at that point would be fairly low.

Some companies do have a policy against hiring people that have a DUI at all, as in ever, I suspect most companies have a policy against hiring someone that has had a DUI within seven years. Beyond that, they figure somebody is a low risk as long as they don't continue to engage in inappropriate drinking behavior.
 

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