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  • A little help please...

    I know a few of you here are paramedics/EMTs and I was hoping you could help me out. I'm doing a project about them for science and I need as much information as I can get.

    For example:
    Educational requirements & training
    Average Salary
    Pros and Cons of the job
    Job Benefits

    Or anything else you can think of. Also, if anyone can direct me to a good, informative site about this profession it would be very helpful. Thanks in advance for any and all help.

  • #2
    Hi Turner! I'll try to answer as much as I can for you.

    First of all, training, protocals, etc. will vary from state to state. For example, in Virginia there are EMTs, Shock Trauma, Cardiac Techs and Paramedics. In Kentucky there are only EMTs and Paramedics. Different states do different things.

    In Virginia for EMT you must have 110 hours of classroom time, 10 hours of hospital time, pass a written state exam and pass three practical stations (trauma, medical and basic life support using the AED). Your license is good for 4 years and you have to keep up your continuing education. You also have to have a current CPR certification and not have been convicted of a felony. I can tell you though, being in a class and reading from a textbook gives you very little in the way of a real-life call. I've learned much more in the ambulance than class ever taught me. I've also taken extra training on top of my EMT certification that's been very beneficial. Experience, though, is still the best way to learn.

    As for salary, again, this will vary from state to state. I know a Paramedic in KY who gets paid $10/hr, which is less than EMTs get here in VA. Pre-hospital personnel aren't paid very much for what they do, given the dangerous situations they're placed in at times and the traumatic things they must witness. I live in a community that's volunteer only, so I get paid nothing. If I were to work as an EMT in a hospital or on a paid service in my area, my salary would probably be between $20,000-$25,000 a year. Again, this varies depending on the location you're in.

    Believe me when I tell you, it's not a job for the faint of heart, the soft-hearted, or those with a weak stomach. You will be bled on, spit at, vomited on, pooped on, etc. You may have to pick brain matter off of guardrails, deliver babies, suction green phlegm from airways, and watch someone take their last breath. You'll see suicides, stillbirths, murders, child abuse, decapitation, the list goes on and on. Flashbacks, depression and suicide are common among EMS workers. Fortunately for me, I've never had any of the above problems. When I'm on call I block out all emotion and remained focused on what I'm doing. That's not to say that I don't relive scenes when I close my eyes at night but I have pretty good coping skills.

    Pros of the job: I think personal satisfaction is the number one thing for me. I feel like I've given back to my community and I do for free what many wouldn't do for any amount of money. I love the lights and sirens and the "high" I get when I'm on my way to a call. The job isn't mundane (usually) and I believe it's given me a better understanding of mortality, human frailty, and the fragility and life. I also love my fellow crew members and we all share a special bond doing what we do.

    Cons of the job: Well, I listed a lot of the cons above. The pay is minimal and you see a lot of nasty stuff. It can also be quite dangerous. Many EMS workers have been injured or killed while on duty.

    As for job benefits, are you talking about insurance, retirement, salary, etc.? I'm not sure what you mean there.

    I don't know of any sites right off the top of my head, but if you do a Google search, there's hundred of sites on this subject. Just remember, salary, training, requirements, and protocals are going to vary from state to state.

    Good luck on your project!

    Comment


    • #3
      This site should answer many of your questions regarding EMS in Wisconsin.

      The site says paramedics make $18,000-$30,000 a year; however I know several that make $50,000 plus. Of course, all of those work for a larger city and had to be firefighters first.
      Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks a lot, a big help.

        Comment


        • #5
          Just now had the chance to read the replies, my above post was just before I walked out the door, heh. To answer your question, 156, when I said job benefits I ment things like insurance, health care plans, retirement, pension, paid leave, etc. I hope that helps. Once again thanks to both of you for the replies.

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          • #6
            At the risk of repeating myself...again, this is going to depend on the area you're in and the agency you're working for. In my area, there are several EMTs and paramedics who work in the hospital and they have great insurance, vacation time, retirement plans, etc., just as the other employees do.

            I personally don't have any benefits at all, as I'm strictly volunteer.

            I hate to be vague but your question is a bit too broad to be answered specifically because every place is different.

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            • #7
              In Kentucky, EMTs and medics who work for a service that responds to emergency calls (as opposed to those who work for a hospital or a service that just does patient transfers) are under the same state retirement system that police officers, correctional officers, and firefighters are under. This "hazardous duty" retirement system gives employees a pension after 20 years of service. Other benefits vary by county.

              Pay here for EMTs starts anywhere between $6 and $9 per hour, depending on where you are. Medics make anywhere from $10 to $15 starting out. Again, pay depends on location and employer.

              Comment

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