• Please review the updated member agreement. Included is a new statement supporting the scientific method and evidence-based medicine. Claims or statements about disease processes should reference widely accepted scientific resources. Theoretical medical speculation is encouraged as part of the overall scientific process. However, unscientific statements that promote unfounded ideological positions or agendas may be removed.


The Real Sydney Bristow
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 26, 2004
a galaxy far far away
Visit site
I'm an EMT-B that has been volunteering with a local rescue squad since September. The organization I am with is very large, and busy and I have slipped through the cracks. I enjoy running rescue, but have been very unhappy with my experience thus far. I was very poorly trained (really not trained at all), pushed quickly through the probationary process, and now I am uncomfortable with my abilities and feel like much more of a burden than any use to my crew.

There are a number of other smaller volunteer rescue organizations in my area, and I think that one of those might be better fit for me, where I could actually be trained and feel like I am actually doing something worthwhile as opposed to now. So my question is whether or not ya'll think it would look bad to change organizations? Do you think the anyone (anyone = the new rescue squad, adcom people, etc.) would question my loyalty or dedication? Thank you so much for your input.


Grizzled Old Newcomer
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 7, 2003
I think if you describe it just like that, it would be seen as a responsible, smart thing to do. Adcoms try their best to favor the responsible, smart applicants whenever possible, so it would be a positive. Your job would be to present it as a positive.


MS-III/AEMT/Rescue Diver
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 5, 2004
Medical Student
Actually I ran into a similar situation as you when I first started... I was with the largest volly EMS organization in the area, and I felt like I slipped through the cracks because there was no one around to help me. It took about a year for me to get "cleared" so that I could attend to a patient in the back by myself. I am glad I stuck with it though. I am now an advanced provider (just barely, I know), a crew chief, driver and first-responder... in short I can show up to any scene in any agency vehicle (including my POV) and initiate patient care. It took me about 3 years to get there though. I remember feeling the same as you when I first started -- underprepared and really useless. However EMS is 90% expereince, 10% book-work. So just give it time and you will get there. Where you want to to it is up to you. I personally stayed with the bigger agency for 2 reasons: call volume and quality of patient care. If the smaller agencies around you have a decent call volume, go ahead and try them, because remember that confidence and quality in EMS is all about experience and you want to make sure that they have enough calls for you to get that experience. Also look for quality of care... the larger agency I am with is a leader in my region in regards to treatment modalities and patient care, whereas the smaller agency typically takes 12 minutes to get off the floor (~20-30 min to patient), and generally have medics that don't know what they are doing. (i.e. thinking a paced rythym was v-tach, and whats worse not knowing what to do about it..)

One of the things the larger agency has done to improve training is assigning volunteer buddy mentors to new members to answer any of their questions and help to train them. They also have a large check-list (~10 pages) of skills to be learned before being "cleared." Does your agency have something like this? You could ask your crew chief/member of your crew to show you how to do something (or 10 things) each shift.

Good luck whatever you decide to do. If you explain your situation as above, I don't think you will have any problems with new squad, adcoms, etc.


10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 19, 2004
Atlanta, GA
Medical Student
Wahooali said:
Do you think the anyone (anyone = the new rescue squad, adcom people, etc.) would question my loyalty or dedication? Thank you so much for your input.
I don't think you'll have people questioning your dedication. If it seems they don't care to keep track of your training and increasing your experience, then they probably won't pay too much attention to you switching over. Business is business. You have to be dedicated and loyal enough to yourself to make good decisions about your experience and career. Think about what you're going to put on your resume and how you'll explain leaving one place for another. Take the opportunity to get more aggressive with learning when you make the move. You'll have a fresh start, and sometimes that's all you need to get the right momentum in your career.
About the Ads