What does Veeky Forums think of a career as a paramedic or an EMT? You can make good...

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

What does Veeky Forums think of a career as a paramedic or an EMT? You can make good money and save lives but without the danger of getting shot or killed like a police man or fire fighter. Plus when you arent saving lives you just sit around. You can go to a community college and get certified. What do u guys think?

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

It's a good but hard career.

Lunatick
Lunatick

@Need_TLC
Why is it hard? Hard to pass the schooling?

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@Fried_Sushi
bump

New_Cliche
New_Cliche

@Fried_Sushi
You can make good money
Aren't they ridiculously underpaid?

without the danger of getting shot or killed
It's much less likely, but it's still a possibility,

ZeroReborn
ZeroReborn

I heard they are underpaid and its an awful job.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

@Lunatick
It's physically demanding (think lifting fat people all day) and the rotating between day and night shift is a bitch.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

@New_Cliche
Aren't they ridiculously underpaid?
12.50 an hour, if youre lucky, 15.

without the danger of getting shot or killed
It's much less likely, but it's still a possibility,
Yup. Had death threats, no guns pulled on me yet though.

Im a paramedic and I fucking love it. The pay is shit, the hours are terrible, you get to see a ton of shit that might fuck you up.If you do get burnt out, what can you do instead? Get that planned out straight away.

For the time beeing im looking into taking some classes to gain some worthwile skills, picking up a second income wouldnt hurt either.

Spamalot
Spamalot

@Nude_Bikergirl

But jeez man, you could bartend and make $25 an hour....

farquit
farquit

Professional EMT here. Been working a busy 911 system immediately north of NYC for about a year now. I'll answer whatever questions you had. My thoughts on the matter

+every day is different, true there are only so many types of 911s but you never know what a day's going to be until it happens. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to working in an office after this.

+the day goes by extremely fast, to the point that it almost doesn't even seem worth it to just go in for an 8 hour shift. Every other job I've worked (and I've worked a lot of different jobs) I was constantly checking my watch, as an EMT I always marvel at the fact I check my watch after a call or two and the day is half over.

+Hand in hand with being on the road all day comes the fact that there's hardly any office gossip, and while I do have a supervisor that shows up to serious calls 95% of my day is spent away from him, often more than that. The big bosses never even leave the base and have absolutely 0 interaction with me, with suits me just fine.

+some of my shifts are in my hometown which is a nice morale boost, as part of emergency services you do feel like you've sometimes made a difference. Unlike the police, when you barge into someone's house you can say you're there to help and 100% mean it.

+The day is quite busy, its rare that I spend much time just sitting around unless I work an overnight, which I rarely do.

-the pay is criminally bad, as an EMT its literally burger flipper tier. Paramedics fare a bit better, but it'll still never be a comfortable lifestyle, especially considering the amount of work they do. I was going to upload a pic of my most recent paystub but I'll just sum it up for you. In two weeks I worked 82 hours, and after taxes, union dues, and healthcare deductions I walked away with $737.37. $1400 a month is not enough to support yourself in NYC, and the only way I can do so is by living with my parents. Its not tenable as a long term career.(cont)

Bidwell
Bidwell

@Nude_Bikergirl
Cant you go above a paramedic, isnt there something above it? Also what state are you in? Was it difficult to become one? Do you make more than an EMT or an EMS?

likme
likme

-many of the people you have to help are what I would politely call human garbage, drunks, addicts, the homeless, homeless drunk addicts. Often these people will drink themselves into a stupor and pass out somewhere, some do gooder sees them and says omg theres someone lying in the street call an ambulance! So we have to go and pick up the same asshole we just picked up yesterday and the day before. Its a real morale killer, because what's the fucking point? The hospital wont do anything for them and we'll just be in the same position tomorrow, but once we get called if they're intoxicated they can't refuse so we're forced to take them. What's worse is these people have no money so they just don't pay, and that expense gets passed on to everyone else.

-because the pay is so terrible most people work multiple jobs which means they will both be in a terrible mood much of the time and not be on their sharpest. There was an ambulance crash on long island a few months ago where the driver smashed into an overpass killing himself, the patient, and putting his partner into a wheelchair. He had just done a 16 hour shift at another job and then showed up to work at this job without getting any rest in between. Your coworkers will put you at risk in this way, but can you blame them? When you make 12.40 an hour you do what you have to. Anyway its why I prefer to drive.

-the lifting can at times be a challenge, if you do it properly you should be fine but remember you always lift as a team. Plenty of people have gotten permanent injuries because their partner fucked up a lift and they did what they had to do to prevent the patient from getting injured.

So, would I recommend it to you OP? Well, yes and no. I think its a fun job and I enjoy it, but its not a good career long term. Its a nice entry into emergency services for sure, especially since you can get an EMT card in such a short amount of time, and if you're near a city get a job out of it quite easily.

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

@farquit
What the fuck man?

I worked 82 hours, and after taxes, union dues, and healthcare deductions I walked away with $737.37. $1400 a month is not enough to support yourself

This is absolutely terrible. That is like less than 10 dollars an hour. How can someone flipping burgers make more than that? Omg man, I was really looking into this shit

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Personally I'm trying to get out of it myself, I like emergency services but I've discovered medicine just isn't my passion so I don't have much interest in becoming a paramedic. I've applied to several police departments and am waiting to get called up, I'm also on the list for the FDNY EMS because that would atleast be a step up from the private agency I work for now.

@kizzmybutt
$12.40 actually. 75 bucks for medical+dental, 25 bucks for the union, 200 to taxes. As I said the only way to make it work as an EMT is to live with your parents or have multiple jobs, even then it'll be hard to make ends meet.

how can someone flipping burgers make more than that
the thing is EMS is caught in a serious catch-22. Its considered a transitory industry, merely a place where people get their start, so it pays like shit and no one stays around to try to improve the situation. But its a transitory industry BECAUSE it pays like shit. It's also relatively quite new compared to Fire and Police, especially as far as the unions are concerned, so they're quite weak. In the FDNY firefighters make $73,000 starting, but the FDNY pays its EMTs only $34,000 starting. As if we do less than half the work they do!

I stand by what I said though, despite the terrible pay its a fun job and I do enjoy it.

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@likme
I appreciate the input and paragraphs my man. Youve convinced me that it isnt for me. Thank you so much

Skullbone
Skullbone

@New_Cliche
They are definately under paid, especially for all the weight on their shoulders, and all the horrific accidents they see.

Burnblaze
Burnblaze

@Carnalpleasure
I work motorpool for a large terminal and make more doing this part-time than what you guys do full-time. That's crazy.

WebTool
WebTool

I don't know many people who enjoy long, rewarding careers in EMS. Most of the people I know in that field have plans of transitioning into a higher-paying job in healthcare (like nursing), law enforcement, or firefighting. I work in law enforcement, and I'm in training for my EMT-Basic certification right now. I want the certification because it's beneficial in my current career field and my job pays an EMT stipend. I think I would enjoy working in EMS, if for some reason I had to change up my career path suddenly. I'm enjoying the training and the field seems to attract people who are actually altruistic, decent human beings (generally).

I wouldn't necessarily agree that EMS is safer than other emergency services. You're driving to emergencies and spending time around sick and distraught people outside of a controlled hospital environment. You have to worry about getting stuck with some HIV-infected junkie's needle every day of your life.

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

@WebTool
Not to mention that you're expected to be on scene with police and firefighters but they don't give you ballistic vests or turnout gear.

happy_sad
happy_sad

@farquit
filename
kek

TreeEater
TreeEater

@New_Cliche
@Skullbone
Depends where you live, They aren't underpaid here in southern Ontario but they aren't making as much as cops/firefighters

Sharpcharm
Sharpcharm

@farquit
My question is why the fuck would anyone work in this field if they pay is so bad. Don't industries jack up pay to attract new workers? I know that's what happened with the alberta oil jobs to get everyone and their grandma working over there. Blows my mind why some people work higher skilled jobs for barely above minimum wage.

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

@Sharpcharm
Supply and demand, probably. In my part of the U.S., EMS services are usually contracted out to private ambulance companies, whereas cops and firefighters are municipal employees with strong union representation. There are a lot of people that are attracted to a job that seems exciting and rewarding, and then you have a certain percentage of people who are idealistic or just hardcore love anything with lights and sirens and don't mind getting paid poorly. There are actually a ton of volunteer ambulance services out there. I agree it's a terribly undervalued job.

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