Im new to FFN but ive been reading here for about a month. Ive recently sparked interest into joining the EMS/Fire Rescue field. Im 22 yrs old and i was a nursing major until i wanted to get into the EMS.  I see many opportunites avavilable to me in this public service field and i am determined to achieve my goals of becoming a Paramedic/FF. My father was a commissioner in Broward County Florida and i love the idea of public service. Im submitting my EMT-B course application within the next month.

Id like some opinions and pointers of what i should look out for/plan for the future from the younger and old crowds.  I am sure all of you have some very valuable information hidden somewhere in your grey matter and cortexes. I have ZERO EMS training (no volunteer FR hours) Anyways, my questions are: What should i expect to get from my EMT-B training?(im afraid i will be the black sheep that doesnt know how to operate a stretcher).  And #2) Would it be wise to pursue my Paramedic Cert. directly after obtaining my Basic? Or should i work for an ambulance company after EMT-B for some more hands-on experience.

Im a little freaked out! The reason i am looking into Paramedic cert. is because i dont see myself getting a job with a department afterwards unless i have the EMT-P cert.  A lot of depts. in South florida (as well across the country) are favoring/requiring Paramedic certs.  Also i like the idea of being trained in ALS and consider the extra training that this particular course provides ESSENTIAL to me and anyone i would work with in the future on a dept. Also, id really like to get some "ride-along" hours in but as a civilian i understand that it is a little difficult to achieve.  Guess ill just wait for my EMT-B to get some am-boo-lance rides.  I am ecstatic!!!

Thank you for your time/patience for helping a complete NEWBIE, girls and guys. I appreciate what you do and i plan to learn as much as i can.  STAY SAFE!!!

(Also, my CPR class is this Saturday)

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James, I just competed my EMT-B program at the ripe age of (50ish) and now looking forward to taking my national test soon. My suggestion to you is obtain your EMT-B cert and then go for your specialist cert. The specialist class is only 76 hrs where the EMT-B class is 240 hrs This will give some training under your belt so to speak. I see that you have taken some nursing classes which will help you greatly. I also suggest that you take a medical terminology class. That will help you greatly when you decide to take the EMT-P. Best of luck to you ,Take Care ~N~ be Safe!!!
Well to be honest you can expect alot! Being a nursing major, you will have a definate advantage over some of the other students who have absolutly no experience. Don't be worried about "being the black sheep who can't work the stretcher." lol By the way, call it a cot. I was already a vollie when I started my EMS training (even though I have since let my emt cert. expire... yeah, don't ever let that happen! lol) so I had some experience dealing with pt.'s, med. equipment, etc.... but most of the people in the class walked in not knowing a single thing about EMS. At the very least, just do not be worried or nervous! You will have plenty of ride along time during your class and you will have a great time doing it! Just stick with it and you will find its a career more rewarding then any other!

"Do something you love and you will never work a day in your life."
well James, as Dustin pointed out, your nursing class will definately come in handy there. i'm half way through my EMT-B class, and we start "ride alongs" next week actually. dont worry about the class too much, its like any other class, pay attention and do your homework and you'll be fine. now, just like the old sayin goes, baby steps. you learned to crawl before you took your first steps in an all out sprint right? same story with EMS. do your basic, then intermediate, and finally your paramedic classes. in that order, which is how its required for us out here. and dont worry about bein the black sheep, everyone (for the most part) in the class will be just as bewildered as you are. oh, and about the clinicals (ride alongs as you called it) you wont be just riding, one of the battalion chiefs here told us that if we didnt get in the gunk, we were goin nowhere and werent gonna be there for long basically. essentially, make a good hand. but they'll tell ya all that stuff later. i'm sure you'll do fine bud, keep the head up, and be a sponge is about the only way, and the easiest way, to do it. good luck to ya.

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