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Stupid Q for working EMTs...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ExistentialistPhilosopher, May 28, 2002.

  1. ExistentialistPhilosopher

    10+ Year Member

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    For all of you EMTs out there, I have a ridiculously stupid question to ask, so please bear with me while I ask it.

    Is it possible to work for any EMS or ambulance service without ever driving? I DO have a driver's license and a perfect driving record, without any tickets. But my perfect driving record is misleading, as I hardly ever drive (I don't have a car) and when I do, it's at a maximum speed of 25 mph (even on freeways). In addition, I live around a large metropolitan area known to be the worst driving cities in the nation, which is why I don't have a car. I'd like to get some experience as an EMT, though, because it seems like an in-depth way to get exposed to medicine. Will I have to get over my fear of car accidents and start driving at normal speeds if I decide to work for the local EMS? Can I request that I never have to drive?
     
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  3. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    In my county, you're not allowed to join the EMS squad unless you have an in-state driver's license, and you must drive. There are many, many, many occasions where you will split with your partner-- one of you drives the ambulance, and the other drives the paramedic's car. In my county, you absolutely have to drive.

    Besides-- it's kinda fun to drive a big box with lights and sirens... :D :D
     
  4. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member
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    YEP!
    you must drive. well, maybe if you're a paramedic and you never let your partner ride a call, then maybe you could get away with it. but i think you'd be putting your patients at risk if you go into EMS and aren't an experienced driver. sorry, maybe you could be an ER tech.
    on a POSITIVE note, most people get out of your way if you put on the lights, maybe that would help your driving.
    what neck of the woods are you thinking about working in?
    street doc
     
  5. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    also, in some areas, you start out as a driver and don't do any patient care until you've gained A LOT of driving experience.
     
  6. styphon

    styphon Senior Member
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    For one, it would matter what area you live in. Some of these people claim that you need to, but in our area you don't..

    Some agencies let you "Crew chief" or be an "Aide", both require no driving. But driving adds to your functionality as an EMT.

    For example, a BLS crew chief and paramedic, both drivers would form a BLS and ALS crew..

    Where as a BLS crew chief and a paramedic with only Paramedic able to drive, could ONLY do BLS.
     
  7. Homer J. Simpson

    Homer J. Simpson 1st and goal from the 1 yard line.
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    You might want to consider "teching" in an ER instead.

    Some ambulance companies have mandatory driving tests that you need to take before they'll allow you to start working for them. Others, as someone above mentioned, only let you drive after you've got some experience under your belt. On the other hand, I've worked at a company that wouldn't let you drive until you had been teching for 6 months. Weird, (and dangerous in my opinion).

    I wouldn't say it's impossible, but it's going to be very tough, especially as a newcomer to a company. I worked at a company where there was someone who had his driving privileges permanently revoked. He was a good EMT and had been there for years so they let him continue to work, (small family owned company), but after awhile no one wanted to work with him because he got to tech every call, and his partner had to drive for the entire shift.

    There are continuing ed courses out there that will teach you to drive an emergency vehicle safely.

    You need to get over your fear. There are some situations in which you may be forced to drive with lights and sirens and people in the back of your rig (even if you started out as the tech on the call; multi-car accidents for example), you don't want your first experience behind the wheel of an ambulance to be one in which someone is coding in the back and you're trying to figure out how to work the lights and sirens, while at the same time medics in the back are screaming at you to take it easy on the turns while they try to start lines and intubate.

    As an aside, driving at 25mph on the freeways is extremely dangerous. If you don't have enough confidence in your ability as a driver to at least do the speed limit you should take some driving courses.
     
    bougiecric likes this.
  8. Forensic Chick

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    Woah, scary. PLEASE STAY OFF THE FREEWAY!!

    To drive an ambulance, you also have to take a written test (in Cali) to get an ambulance license. Most EMS systems are going to a paramedic/EMT team, so when it's an ALS call, you'll be driving buddy. There's jobs in the hospital setting where an EMT cert is utilized, but I think you need to get your cert before you worry about anything else. The class is not as easy as some believe it to be, but with a pre-med background you'll certainly enter with much more knowledge than many of your classmates.
     
  9. WHOOP8002

    WHOOP8002 Junior Member
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    Hey! If you are a certified EMT, you could work as a technician in an emergency room. Well, at least you can do that in Texas. I am a paramedic and I have never driven an ambulance. I have worked at a hospital, in two clinics and in an amusement park in San Antonio.
     
  10. Jonkst

    Jonkst Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by WHOOP8002:
    <strong>Hey! If you are a certified EMT, you could work as a technician in an emergency room. Well, at least you can do that in Texas. I am a paramedic and I have never driven an ambulance. I have worked at a hospital, in two clinics and in an amusement park in San Antonio.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">How'd you find a job in an amusement park? I'm getting the EMT license, but I don't know yet how to find a good job.

    Thanks
     
  11. aqua

    aqua Member
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    In my county it's not necessary to drive. It is helpful as someone said--especially if you're not a paramedic. That's because your ambulance can't be considered a paramedic if the paramedic is driving rather than doing patient care. BUT--look into the rules where you live. I don't think the driving issue should prevent you from doing EMT stuff.
     
  12. silvercholla

    silvercholla Smarter than the avg bear
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    In NYC you must have a driver's license and you will trained to drive a rig. Once trained you are required to drive during shifts (rotated) but that doesn't always happen. What might happen is that your partner would probably get really mad at you because you would have to take the "good" calls becaue you aren't able to drive fast. You might end up a patient in the long run if you kept that up. Here's a suggestion, borrow a car every chance you get and practice. And just for your reference, go over 25mph.
     
  13. RT

    RT Rt
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    Ask your local Fire Deparment.

    My area does not require EMTs to be drivers. In fact, our drivers must be certified as EMTs prior to driving. So basically, our EMTs don't ever have to drive unless they wish to do so.

    RT
     
  14. tplacke

    tplacke Junior Member
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    I've had partners that I refused to let drive. Then again, I've also had partners that I've refused to let treat patients (Ahh, the joys of having worked for a private service). <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />
     

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