Are You Interested In A Career as A Firefighter / Paramedic?
Many young people grow up playing with toy medical kits, dressing up as firefighters and imagining themselves driving ambulances while saving lives. It can be overwhelming and confusing trying to figure out where / how to start a career in EMS. The first step is your education.
Planning your education for a career as a firefighter / paramedic is important. There are several options and depending on where you want to work could determine where you attend school. One big question that you will need to answer is, Do you want to be cross-trained as a firefighter / paramedic or do you want to be a paramedic? Each career will be rewarding and provide you with many career opportunities.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), firefighters are responsible for “connecting hoses to hydrants, operating the pumps that power the hoses, climbing ladders, and using other tools to break through debris. Firefighters also enter burning buildings to extinguish fires and rescue individuals. Many firefighters are responsible for providing medical attention. Two out of three calls to firefighters are for medical emergencies, not fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Firefighters’ duties may change several times while they are at the scene of an emergency. In some cases they remain at disaster scenes for days, for example, rescuing trapped survivors and assisting with medical treatment.”
EMTs and Paramedics, according to the BLS, “care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care provided by these workers. EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities.”
Now that you have an idea of which career path you would choose, let’s look at the education path and how you achieve your goal. In the state of Missouri, if you want to become a paramedic these are the basic steps you will need to do:
- Complete your EMT Basic training and obtain your EMT license
- Complete an Anatomy & Physiology or Human Biology college level course. This is a pre-requisite for the paramedic program.
- Complete your paramedic program and obtain your paramedic license.
If you are interested in becoming a firefighter the minimum qualifications are State Certification as FF II (NFPA 1001, 1992 Ed), Missouri EMT license, high school diploma or GED, and no felony convictions. To obtain your Firefighter I and II certification you will need to attend a state approved fire academy. In our area your options are:
- St. Louis County Fire Academy – if you want to become a firefighter in St. Louis County
- St. Charles County Fire Academy – contact your local St. Charles County fire department
Each fire academy has certain admission and application processes. Make sure you contact them directly for details.
Making your dream career a reality is possible. It takes hard work and dedication. With a clear path and the right information, you will be on your way to a successful career in EMS. For more information on how to enroll in our next EMT or paramedic program contact us today.