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What is up with EMS sites?

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by MissAmericanPie, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. MissAmericanPie

    MissAmericanPie Troop Supporter

    Dec 8, 2005
    New Hampshire
    So I tried to post for the very first time on an EMS site that I have been visiting. I have avoided some others since everyone is so quick to argue. Well, I should have known better.

    I thought I was posting a simple question. No one was interested in helping out - only in giving opinions about their EMS political *****es. Still no response to my original question. I am 38 years old and know what I want to do. I was simply looking for advice on the ambulance ride since I'm inexperienced.

    I'll link it - anyone care to give it a shot on here - although I think you guys have given me your ideas in the past?

    Thanks so much. :hugs:
  2. ZootTX


    Feb 2, 2008
    I'm not really sure what you are asking, but I'll take a stab at it anyway.
    Its good you are riding along with the agency you are considering working for, you'll get to see them in action (though it appears they already transport in the area you first respond).
    If you are asking if you should volunteer and work as a paid EMT at the same time, only you can decide that. Many new EMTs jump in with both feet and quickly become overwhelmed. Some of the responders to your other thread are right, although they could stand to be less bitter and jaded in their responses.
    Its kind of hard to get up in the middle of the night for what you know is another BS medical call when you have to get up in a couple of hours to go get paid to do the same thing. It sounds like the call volume where you are is low enough that may not be an issue.
    You have to temper your enthusiasm a bit, or you will ended up jaded and bitter like too many old EMTs/Medics.
    I started out working paid EMS and volunteering at an FD. My FDs area was covered by a volunteer EMS agency but I declined to join because my plate was full already and the VEMS agency had WAY to much drama (not that the paid EMS place was much better)
    What it comes down to is what you can handle. Too many new EMTs get ate up with EMS, and get burned out and bitter in a short period of time.

  3. MissAmericanPie

    MissAmericanPie Troop Supporter

    Dec 8, 2005
    New Hampshire

    "So, if anyone can give me some pointers on my ride out that would be fabulous! I am really excited and I figured I would ask the EMTs what they expect my role to be - observation or if they want me to play an active role and if so, should I be proactive or simply do what I am told.

    What do you guys/gals usually expect?"

    That is all I wanted to know. I did not ask for their advice about volunteer vs. paid. I have that worked out and if I change my mind on it - well, I change my mind. I am not one of those people who get stuck. I move on.

    I know of no one around here that sounds as bitter as they did. If you are that unhappy - quit. But don't try to diminish the enthusiasm of someone entering the field.

    "Brotherhood" my ass.
  4. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

    Jan 2, 2005
    Taylorsville, KY
    When I had riders, I would talk with them and ask what they expect to get from the ride-along. After talking with them, I had an idea of how I wanted to proceed. I would explain to them that if they had any questions about what I was doing, or why, to ask after the run. If you ask why I am doing something, or question the reason I am doing something while in the presence of family members or the patient, you may not like the answer you get. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. I would always have them just observe our first run, so they could get an idea how things go. Afterward, we would talk about what went on, and I would answer any questions, and ask a few of my own. On following runs, I generally would allow them to jump in and carry equipment, and take some vitals after I did. Understand, where I worked, with the exception of students we were precepting, non-employees were not to be administering care, as there is a huge liability issue.

    As for your ride-along, talk with them. Ask what role they want you to take, if any. It is generally a good idea to do what the crew tells you. If they ask you to do something that you are uncomfortable with, or not trained to do, SPEAK UP!!! In a polite way, tell them you don't know how, or are not comfortable in doing it.

    And above all, relax and enjoy the experience. After all, you are there to learn.

    Hope this helps. :thumbsup:
  5. DTLarson


    Mar 1, 2007
    Wow, and I thought the "paid vs. volunteer" firefighter debates were bad. These people that responded to your post are on the same level as many people who enter the fire debates.
  6. GusDog


    Jul 26, 2006
    When I have a JAFFO (it's an accronym - I'll let you figure it out:whistling:) I want them to fist and foremost to PAY ATTENTION. Watch for safety hazards, don't wander around in traffic, exit the curb side door, don't put yourself, or your crew mebers, in a dangerous situation. I am liable for your safety, and I take that responsibility seriously.

    Secondly, do as you are asked. I may tell you to do something that doesn't make much sense to you at the time - just do it - I'll explain later.

    At the start of the shift ask the crew you're riding with what's expected. They will probably ask what you want to get from the ride along, as well as your long term EMS goals. If you tell me that you are looking to start a career in EMS I will handle you much different than if you are a med school/nursing student, etc. Pay attention to their directions and expectations and follow them.

    Since this is somewhere you want to ultimately work it's almost like an extended job interview. What's hard is finding a balance between being aggressive, showing your skills, and being a help to the crew, and getting in the way. Either extreme will make your name mud - If the crew members keep tripping over you - back off. If you keep finding yourself in the corner with your hands in your pockets you'll be labeled as timid. You kind of have to get a feel for the crew you're working with and follow their lead, as well as follow your insticts here. When asked, be honest about your abilities. If I feel you have misrepresented your experience, skills, or abilities we won't get along well, in fact you will probably be going home. I'd much rather have you say that you don't know how to do something I ask you to, than to screw things all up and make excuses why you couldn't do it.

    Most Medics/EMTs can recognize who will make it and who won't in the 1st shift. This is one of those jobs that you either have "IT", or you don't. So, most of all, be yourself. And remember to have a thick skin. You may get someone who will be really tough on you just to see what you are made of, and how you handle pressure.

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes. PM me if I can help at all.
  7. ZootTX


    Feb 2, 2008
    Well, then I rambled on about nothing for a while there then. :whistling:

    As far as ride outs go, it depends on the crew in most cases.
    Some medics are glad to have a third-rider, and some are grumpy about it.
    Show up on time, in whatever uniform you are supposed to be wearing.
    Introduce yourself to the crew members, I've have riders show up when I was off doing something like station duties, and then go on a run and be like 'oh we have a rider' which is annoying because I have no idea what they are doing.
    I'll want to know what level of certification you are so I know what you are allowed to do, because I put my riders to work (since thats what they are there for right? :tongueout: )
    On a call, don't do anything unless you have asked or been told to, at least for a while. Once you have ridden with the same crew a couple of times, we have a good idea of what you can do and you should be able to operate a little more independently.
    Be willing to learn. They don't teach a lot of things in EMT school. I teach all my EMT students/riders how to spike a bag, do EKGs, because anyone can do those and its nice if they know how if I'm busy doing something else.
    Its also nice (and makes a good impression) if you help out with station duties, etc.

    It sounds like you have a positive attitude, good luck!
  8. MissAmericanPie

    MissAmericanPie Troop Supporter

    Dec 8, 2005
    New Hampshire
    Thanks for the replies!! I had my ride today and I think it went alright. There was very little action.

    We had a patient with a possible c-spine injury who hit a tree while skiing where I work. He was pissed that I cut his shirt - a tough old guy. They do electroic BPs so I didn't get to do it.

    I originally was riding with a very young crew, but when a 911 came in I went with the two experienced guys who were taking the call. I learned a lot from the medic. He is a really good guy who is happy to tell me what he knows. Unfortunately, it was one of those days where we were discussing things other than our patients since we only had two. But I got some insight into the business, etc.

    And then it happened.......the other EMT had to get going on political stuff with me. Ugghhh. My vehicle gives away my affiliation so he knew what angle to approach it from, I suppose, and I had to constantly bite my tongue (which is painful for me).:supergrin: That was the worst part of the day and it lasted for over an hour since we did a four hour transport! Then he asked me who I was voting for!!! After that he started in on economic stuff..... He wasn't real fuzzy after that even though I was quite tempered in my responses. Geez, I want a job there!!

    I did help wash the trucks, observed the state report process, etc. though and stayed two hours beyond my expected shift. They seemed to like me fine and I was told I could ride anytime. I'm going to call them next week.
  9. 1bamashooter


    Jan 4, 2008
    I always tell them to go to nursing school EMS sux.:supergrin: :dunno: