paramedic school
“Them” in this post refers to anyone attending Paramedic school so they can “get hired” with the Fire Department.

I would like to let them in on a little known secret. At least a good deal of medics I work with now didn’t know this nugget of truth. When you get a Paramedic license just to get on with the Fire Department…


More than once I have been approached by persons who are looking for a way to drop their Paramedic license, yet keep their jobs. I’ve been known to actually read the rule book and they expect me to know some magic loophole. Many of these folks took abbreviated courses designed to “get them in and get them out” so they could apply with the local FD and have a better chance of getting hired.

Turns out the FD is hiring Paramedics because they need Paramedics. I know it’s hard to understand right now, but patient care will actually be an important part of your new job as a firefighter.

A Firefighter/Paramedic is a firefighter who has been specially trained to deal with the ever growing 80+% of our call volume. You are not just a firefighter.

Your brain needs to be all in on this decision, not just to get to the top of the applications pile. When I started down the road in this business I always knew I would end up as a Paramedic, I just never expected I would fight so hard to get the license and so proud to keep it. They don’t call me “the Happy Fireman.”

When I take an intern I try to find a philosophical match to myself. My last intern, when asked why he got into EMS, told me exactly the kind of thing I want to hear. He was in the Coast Guard and when they were going to board a ship everyone else would grab a gun and he would grab the first aid kit. He figured that curiosity about first aid could grow into something he could love, and it did. He wanted to be a Paramedic because he enjoyed being an EMT but got frustrated he couldn’t do enough for his patients.

He is now a competent, confident Paramedic and we meet often to discuss his new career and interesting calls we both go on.

Another intern candidate told me he was in Paramedic school for the extra money at his firefighter job. I told him to get a side job doing something else, that the role of a Paramedic isn’t just an extra salary, you have to want to be there. Nothing drives me crazy more than a Paramedic who wants to be something else.

So if you’re considering taking a Paramedic course so you can get hired, think again. You just might save yourself and someone who needs a Paramedic a lot of time and effort.


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