Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by patw » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:00 pm

I have been on the job for over 17 years as a ff/pm . I work for both a private organization/company p/t and a f.d. f/t. I am not starting a flame issue but will just report what I have seen. I don't know where the prior posters got their info., but we train as hard or harder in ems in the f.d. than any ambulance service that I work for or have worked for. We have monthly training hours that must be done in order to keep our certifications. We train off-duty as well for no overtime, contrary to popular belief. Most of the time, it all depends on the individuals, period. I see both sides of the coin and can tell you both have their pros and cons. The privatized side will not pay you very much at all and will work you to death and will manipulate you and you have no recourse, hence private sector. They are a business in for a profit. I have seen it a lot and work with people who are there because they like doing what they do and some have no choice. You can be sent home early on your shift without pay and they can offer you a bonus,(company wide), even if you follow their guidelines, most times you will not get it due to time constraints or some type of paperwork issue. The bonus thing has always been a problem for me as it takes away from care the pt. sometime requires in order to make it in the time constraints of the 'Bonus'-times from the start of the call to the end. If you need to spend more time with the pt. do it. If it needs to be done, don't expect the hospital to do it. This unfortunately happens on both sides of the fence. I have worked with some medics in the privatized side who were really good and I admire and respect them. I have worked with many who stated to me they have never pushed a med. and they are proud of it. Again, there is something wrong and there is very little done about it. Most of the training and managing revolves around the amount of time on a call and how fast you can get 10-8 in order to get another. In itself, that doesn't sound like a bad thing, but in operation it is something else. A few counties,(both f.d. and private), in the south end of Fl. need a total revamping in my opinion due to this 2 tier system. It doesn't work and I blame the fire side as much as the private, union and non-union alike. You would be amazed and frustrated in what goes on. I have no ill will to those who work in the private side, I do as well, as we are all needed no matter what it is for and we should all try to get past who's 'g.i. joe is bigger'.

The fire side has it's downside as well, but tends to work more efficiently -ie. you have more hands on a scene at one time, which comes in handy quite often at mvc's/codes/trauma alerts,etc. and info. is more easily related due to a single tier system. Of course it is all the rage to become a firefighter and unfortunately you get some people who think their stuff don't stink, but we are just like everyone else and we should remind ourselves of this. The newer generations it seems, no matter private or government, think they should expect things to be given to them. This is a profession that should treated as a humble position in the community. We are 'public servants' and sometimes we forget this.

Anyway, it is a field that is self-rewarding and there is little thanks to be given, not that it is to be expected and should not be the reason to get into the field. Don't expect to have your ego stroked or to have a hero complex. I do this job for the enjoyment I get out of helping others. What other job allows you to see someone in their worst circumstances, asking for help and be able to give it to them? I am not an egomaniac or a thrill seeker by any means, but you can make a major impact in someone's life,hopefully for the better, but you need to keep a level head. There is a lot of self-satisfaction and if you want a job that can challenge you, this is it, private or government. It can also be very frustrating and depressing. You will see a lot of things on this job that most people will never see or do. Disease, death, cruelty to the elderly, handicap and children run rampant and you have to have the knowledge and be able to apply the skills you have learned in order to be effective in these and other bad situations. I have seen people not be able to cut it in this job and not everyone can or should do this job. It is a life changing experience.

There are also other places to find employment as a medic -hospitals, dr. offices, etc.. It can open your eyes to different fields of interest. Many medics, on both sides, go on to become a nurse, whether in the e.r.,airline,etc.. So you have a wide range of things you can aspire to, if you put the time in required.

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by CFD-shadow » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:31 am

Well written. =D>

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by Rentprop1 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:38 am

I just like to say to Patw, that was so very well written, and while I have no dog in this fight at all, non medical type guy here, I talk my hat off to all you guys and what you do everyday.......your quote below I have to make a comment on as I have definitely seen a change in people in this industry over the last few years.
patw wrote: The newer generations it seems, no matter private or government, think they should expect things to be given to them. This is a profession that should treated as a humble position in the community. We are 'public servants' and sometimes we forget this.
I think 9/11 was a major changing point for the folks in the FD and the medical first responders, there were a lot of people that never recognized the job they do, day in and day out, but I say a lot the guys now have an ego or chip...and it has to have something to do with pay and bonuses....
Until after 9/11 ....I never saw an EMT of FF ask for what used to be called a military-police discount, it's now called a Police/Fire discount and now I see it almost weekly......
I can't tell you how many times I seen EMT or FF guys cut a line or ask for something for free, to me thats almost just scumbaggy way of doing it, almost like we missed out all these years so now I'm gonna get mine, sort of thing.
You guys deserved it from the start IMHO, if its offered by all means take it, but why is it now do most feel they are entitled ??
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by FLEMTP » Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:53 am

Rentprop1 wrote: I think 9/11 was a major changing point for the folks in the FD and the medical first responders, there were a lot of people that never recognized the job they do, day in and day out, but I say a lot the guys now have an ego or chip...and it has to have something to do with pay and bonuses....
Until after 9/11 ....I never saw an EMT of FF ask for what used to be called a military-police discount, it's now called a Police/Fire discount and now I see it almost weekly......
I can't tell you how many times I seen EMT or FF guys cut a line or ask for something for free, to me thats almost just scumbaggy way of doing it, almost like we missed out all these years so now I'm gonna get mine, sort of thing.
You guys deserved it from the start IMHO, if its offered by all means take it, but why is it now do most feel they are entitled ??

That shows a serious lack of professionalism. I NEVER ask for a discount or to cut in line anywhere I go... and when im offered something at a discount or for free, I ALWAYS insist on paying full price. If they continue to offer the discount, then I accept graciously. If someone offers to let me go ahead of them in line, I always thank them and initially decline. I know that tax money funds our department, and if you piss off the taxpayers, you bite the hand that feeds you. I keep the same principles when dealing with people on a 911 call.

I also speak up against my fellow coworkers asking for discounts, or putting off an attitude that says "im entitled" Not only does it make the rest of us look bad, but it can turn that positive image people may have had towards us and throws it away.

I will say the only time I take advantage of anything is parking in the fire lane when we go places. Emergency vehicles are exempt from fire lane statues and I use the logic that if im in the back of publix at the deli, and we get a 911 call, and I drop everything and move towards my unit with all due haste, it still may take me several minutes to get to my unit, get it unlocked, start it up, route out the location of the call, and begin moving that way. Anything I can do to shave that time down is doing both my department a service, and the person who needs 911. It also provides greater visibility of our unit to the community and I feel makes us more approachable should someone need any type of help.
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by Rentprop1 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:15 am

FLEMTP wrote:
I will say the only time I take advantage of anything is parking in the fire lane when we go places. Emergency vehicles are exempt from fire lane statues and I use the logic that if im in the back of publix at the deli, and we get a 911 call, and I drop everything and move towards my unit with all due haste, it still may take me several minutes to get to my unit, get it unlocked, start it up, route out the location of the call, and begin moving that way. Anything I can do to shave that time down is doing both my department a service, and the person who needs 911. It also provides greater visibility of our unit to the community and I feel makes us more approachable should someone need any type of help.
I see your point here and it does seem valid, but you admitting to taking advantage of the system for a loophole ( Emergency vehicles are exempt from fire lane statues ) you guys are supposed to fit and at the top of your game, running another 40 yrs to the back of the parking lot not only would get you out of the p-lot faster but avoid the confusion of hauling ass away from the front of a busy store like publix or wal-mart and possibly hit a pedestrian ??? :-k

My rant ( as a simple man, and a tax payer ).......if you somewhere and close parking in not an option, how is that any more fair to anyone else having to load something heavy in front of a store ( with no loading dock ) or having a large truck or towing a trailer and need to stop momentarily in the fire lane ??? Note : I did not say park and go inside and abandon your vehicle, but pause there cause its the only smart, safe, sensible place to stop......due to the size of the vehicle ??
What really chaps my ass is when you see LE hassling someone for parking there, but then they have designated police parking ( usually the first space ) before the handicapped space, and the LEO is parked in the fire lane.......

I don't care what anyone's argument for the fire lane would be, but there is no way you can tell me if your sitting in your car, and there is a fire ( or you hear the fire alarm go off ) your not gonna move your vehicle ??
and especially not in the 4-5 min its gonna take the FD to get there

FLEMTP......I admire you recognizing the issue with the handouts, and you remarks about being a humble public servant, just wish a lot more folks saw it that way....especially Law Enforcement !
In the days of the old west a 6 shooter was as common as cell phones are today and just annoying if they go off in a theater.

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by MiamiE » Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:38 pm

Saintnick001 wrote:I've been working as a graphic artist for over 10 years now. Currently working at a newspaper. I am no longer happy doing what I do. I don't feel I'm making a difference or being appreciated and most of all, when he grows up I want my son to be proud of what I do. I've been seriously looking at going back to school for EMT cerification and perhaps Paramedic training after that.
Before I jump head first into this, what are the pros and cons of this profession?
Being from South Florida it is next to impossible to find a job anywhere in South Florida much less Florida. Cities, counties, and the state itself has NO money in the budget for civil service. Its amazing! I have a BA in CJ, am a FF/Medic and cant find a job in LEO or Fire Rescue! ](*,) This is why I am currently AGAIN in school to become an RN. :ham'r

Regarding EMS over Fire. I will take Firefighting ANY day of the week. I just enjoy it more. I still enjoy helping others in their most dire time, but the firefighting is where the "fun" of the job is. Good luck in whatever you choose. I have been applying all over the state and gone to numerous interviews, only to be turned down. Perfect background also. Hard worker. Most departments only hire around 5 at a time if that!

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by 10MMGary » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:19 am

FLEMTP wrote: Thats like asking your mechanic to do your gardening because they both work with handtools...it just doesnt make sense. There are plenty of county ran EMS providers in florida that pay quite well ( i make approx 60k a year) and you dont need to be a firefighter.
FLEMTP wrote: Really? i work for a stand alone EMS dept.. and i make about 70k a year..and ive been there less than 5 years.. thats more than 99% of the fire depts in the state of florida...
I don't know enough to argue one way or another, but I do know I want a job where FLEMTP works, In a one week period his pay went up 10-K, is this an annual occurrence or once a career type of raise [smilie=011.gif] ? ( just razzing you a bit, I am sure it was a typo)

BTW the analogy you use referencing gardeners and auto mechanics is a flawed premise. They are not crossed trained to be able to perform the others task. In this day and age I would think there is far more reasons to combine the two skill sets of fire fighting and paramedical than not to.
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by FLEMTP » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:23 pm

10MMGary wrote:
BTW the analogy you use referencing gardeners and auto mechanics is a flawed premise. They are not crossed trained to be able to perform the others task. In this day and age I would think there is far more reasons to combine the two skill sets of fire fighting and paramedical than not to.

I make between 60 and 70 a year... depending on the overtime.

The other thing .. your statement above..

Sure, it might make sense to combine the 2 jobs to someone that doesnt understand the duties and responsibilities of a paramedic and a firefighter, but as someone who does the job every day.. the roles and responsibilities are VERY different. In the end.. you can either be a GREAT firefighter, and an ok paramedic.. or a GREAT paramedic.. and an ok firefighter.. question is.. which one do you want helping you? Personally id rather have a GREAT paramedic... and a GREAT firefighter.. and the best way to have that.. is to keep the jobs separate
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by Vultite » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:03 pm

FLEMTP wrote:
10MMGary wrote:
BTW the analogy you use referencing gardeners and auto mechanics is a flawed premise. They are not crossed trained to be able to perform the others task. In this day and age I would think there is far more reasons to combine the two skill sets of fire fighting and paramedical than not to.

I make between 60 and 70 a year... depending on the overtime.

The other thing .. your statement above..

Sure, it might make sense to combine the 2 jobs to someone that doesnt understand the duties and responsibilities of a paramedic and a firefighter, but as someone who does the job every day.. the roles and responsibilities are VERY different. In the end.. you can either be a GREAT firefighter, and an ok paramedic.. or a GREAT paramedic.. and an ok firefighter.. question is.. which one do you want helping you? Personally id rather have a GREAT paramedic... and a GREAT firefighter.. and the best way to have that.. is to keep the jobs separate
wow, Lee County either pays above average compared to the Tampa area, or you've been there quite a while. Either way, grats....btw, the Lee County chopper is sweet with the stripes and all...around here there are a lot of FF's that wish the system was seperate like what Polk and Manatee have (or at least what Polk maybe used to have...) I personally rather see a seperate system myself. But if that were to happen people's salaries would probably suffer... [smilie=042.gif]

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by FLEMTP » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:16 pm

Vultite wrote: wow, Lee County either pays above average compared to the Tampa area, or you've been there quite a while. Either way, grats....btw, the Lee County chopper is sweet with the stripes and all...around here there are a lot of FF's that wish the system was seperate like what Polk and Manatee have (or at least what Polk maybe used to have...) I personally rather see a seperate system myself. But if that were to happen people's salaries would probably suffer... [smilie=042.gif]
Ive been with the dept a year and a half.
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by Vultite » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:36 pm

Well good to know at least one county is taken care of, a lot of surrounding counties in the tampa area don't pay as well. They also cry foul everyear b/c of their lack of budget which is why Tampa has to run with private a lot. Simply not enough ems to take the call load, but they like to s';t on private guys as much as they can. Go figure, the system suck.

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by FLEMTP » Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:50 pm

Vultite wrote:Well good to know at least one county is taken care of, a lot of surrounding counties in the tampa area don't pay as well. They also cry foul everyear b/c of their lack of budget which is why Tampa has to run with private a lot. Simply not enough ems to take the call load, but they like to s';t on private guys as much as they can. Go figure, the system suck.

Yes, this is true.. not to mention most systems do not discourage those who dont truly need 911 ( i stubbed my toe vs. im having chest pains) to find another way to the ER.

I worked in pinellas county for a year ... and that was all I could deal with of the mindset of the people up that way when it comes to 911 and EMS.

Our county has taken care of us well, some might argue that the union had a hand in that. Our county budget is getting slimmer and slimmer, so things might not be so rosey here in the next couple of years. Only time will tell.
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by IraG2362 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:22 pm

thought the band aid boy would like to read this..

http://www.fireengineering.com/index/ar ... 78464.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by FLEMTP » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:35 am

Under the current system, about 80 percent of fire engines are Advanced Life Support engine companies, meaning that they are staffed with at least one paramedic. ALS engine companies also have two emergency medical technicians and life-saving medication.
The problem with this statement is that, while they have life saving medication.. unfortunately they do not have people with the skills or knowledge to push this medication in an appropriate manner.

Unless my patient is on fire.. then please stay in your station and leave my job alone... thanks
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by poloboy821 » Thu Mar 04, 2010 8:50 am

I have been keeping up with this topic for awhile now and have not said anything, however i must say something now..

GET OVER YOURSELF!

For f/;k sake man you are not better than anyone, last time i checked everyone's patch was the same color(except for NREMT-P). You are a classic case of a person that fits the description of Param-a-DICK not paramedic! Every time you open your mouth in here bashing the fire department paramedics all you do is make yourself look like an idiot. Consolidated services is the way of the future, so get with the program, as budgets shrink services get combined to save money. I suggest you look for a new line of work if you are going to keep your macho PARAGOD attitude because guess what i am a paramedic firefighter, and a damn good one. I have no issue treating the most complicated trauma, cardiac, or respiratory pt, then responding to a multi alarm structure fire and performing flawlessly in my duties. Oh and incase you are wondering, i work primarily on a rescue box so yes i run 14-18 calls per shift every shift, and i only get about 2-3hrs of sleep a night too so believe me i know what it means to run my ass off in a 24hr shift. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by Dr John Meade » Thu Mar 04, 2010 9:42 am

FLEMTP wrote:we are looking at a Tactical EMS program that would cross train medics as LEO's for swat team purposes.
I am an instructor for that type of program. TEMS is a very different set of skills and mindset compared with regular street EMS. But fun. [smilie=pdt_xtremez_30.gif]
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by IraG2362 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:14 pm

poloboy821 wrote:I have been keeping up with this topic for awhile now and have not said anything, however i must say something now..

GET OVER YOURSELF!

For f*%! sake man you are not better than anyone, last time i checked everyone's patch was the same color(except for NREMT-P). You are a classic case of a person that fits the description of Param-a-DICK not paramedic! Every time you open your mouth in here bashing the fire department paramedics all you do is make yourself look like an idiot. Consolidated services is the way of the future, so get with the program, as budgets shrink services get combined to save money. I suggest you look for a new line of work if you are going to keep your macho PARAGOD attitude because guess what i am a paramedic firefighter, and a damn good one. I have no issue treating the most complicated trauma, cardiac, or respiratory pt, then responding to a multi alarm structure fire and performing flawlessly in my duties. Oh and incase you are wondering, i work primarily on a rescue box so yes i run 14-18 calls per shift every shift, and i only get about 2-3hrs of sleep a night too so believe me i know what it means to run my ass off in a 24hr shift. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

well said BROTHER ..
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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by W4ABC » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:29 pm

IraG2362 wrote:
poloboy821 wrote:I have been keeping up with this topic for awhile now and have not said anything, however i must say something now..

GET OVER YOURSELF!

For f*%! sake man you are not better than anyone, last time i checked everyone's patch was the same color(except for NREMT-P). You are a classic case of a person that fits the description of Param-a-DICK not paramedic! Every time you open your mouth in here bashing the fire department paramedics all you do is make yourself look like an idiot. Consolidated services is the way of the future, so get with the program, as budgets shrink services get combined to save money. I suggest you look for a new line of work if you are going to keep your macho PARAGOD attitude because guess what i am a paramedic firefighter, and a damn good one. I have no issue treating the most complicated trauma, cardiac, or respiratory pt, then responding to a multi alarm structure fire and performing flawlessly in my duties. Oh and incase you are wondering, i work primarily on a rescue box so yes i run 14-18 calls per shift every shift, and i only get about 2-3hrs of sleep a night too so believe me i know what it means to run my ass off in a 24hr shift. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

well said BROTHER ..
Ditto, Ditto!

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by Tact.Medic » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:01 pm

W4ABC wrote:
IraG2362 wrote:
poloboy821 wrote:I have been keeping up with this topic for awhile now and have not said anything, however i must say something now..

GET OVER YOURSELF!

For f*%! sake man you are not better than anyone, last time i checked everyone's patch was the same color(except for NREMT-P). You are a classic case of a person that fits the description of Param-a-DICK not paramedic! Every time you open your mouth in here bashing the fire department paramedics all you do is make yourself look like an idiot. Consolidated services is the way of the future, so get with the program, as budgets shrink services get combined to save money. I suggest you look for a new line of work if you are going to keep your macho PARAGOD attitude because guess what i am a paramedic firefighter, and a damn good one. I have no issue treating the most complicated trauma, cardiac, or respiratory pt, then responding to a multi alarm structure fire and performing flawlessly in my duties. Oh and incase you are wondering, i work primarily on a rescue box so yes i run 14-18 calls per shift every shift, and i only get about 2-3hrs of sleep a night too so believe me i know what it means to run my ass off in a 24hr shift. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) ](*,)

well said BROTHER ..
Ditto, Ditto!
Amen!

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Re: Pros and Cons of being an EMT/Paramedic

Post by dan1802 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:00 pm

Very interesting thread.
Kinda in a rut with work myself.
was thinking of doing some security work part time and doing some sort of schooling.
always had interest in the medical field as my great grandmother, grandmother and mother were all nurses
and I basically grew up in a nursing home and hospital.
Would be fun to go through the EMT course, if for nothing else but to see what its about.

As far as the fighting. FF Vs medic. You guys all have my respect either way.
play nice guys.
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