Paramedics working as EMT’s

I recently met with an aspiring firefighter who had taken the step to become a paramedic. He was an academy graduate and still could not get hired. He became a paramedic with the thought that it would help him get hired. Good plan, right?
Kind of……

Where his plan failed is that after completing paramedic school, he returned to his EMT job at the local ambulance company. Huge mistake! Here’s why…….
He is most likely going to be taking lateral firefighter/paramedic tests. This thins down the competition. Unfortunately, bit certainly not expected, the department that hires him will expect him to be extremely competent with his paramedic skills. This is not another chance for a paramedic internship where they will teach you how to be a paramedic; the expectation is that the department is hiring someone who is ALREADY a competent paramedic.
The City of Carlsbad has a good way of flushing out candidates whose medic skills are not where they should be. They hire you and assign you 10 shifts on an ambulance to evaluate your skills. If, at the end of 10 shifts you are not a competent paramedic, you are terminated.
One of my peers recently gave a lateral paramedic test. Only four candidates made the list, none of which had any experience. He believed that he could not put any of them on an engine as the assessment medic on the south end of town and feel comfortable that he would be doing the best thing for his community. He threw out the list and retested.
I expect someone who becomes a paramedic to be excited to use their skills. A candidate who opts for a role as an EMT makes me wonder about their confidence. I also know that there is NO WAY you are a competent paramedic. When questioned, the person I met with said he felt he was still as sharp as the day he finished internship because he was running 911 calls as an EMT. I reminded him that if I was looking for a quarterback of my team that I wanted the guy who was on the field playing the game rather than the water boy who attended every practice and game.
I understand that may not be any 911 private paramedic jobs in your area. It’s up to you to go find one.

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