Anyone on Airmed/Lifeflight crews?

This is a discussion on Anyone on Airmed/Lifeflight crews? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So if you noticed my other post I'm pretty much done with my EMT training and probably going to continue into Paramedic. I'm thinking seriously ...

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Thread: Anyone on Airmed/Lifeflight crews?

  1. #1
    Member Array Dustinmk4's Avatar
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    Anyone on Airmed/Lifeflight crews?

    So if you noticed my other post I'm pretty much done with my EMT training and probably going to continue into Paramedic. I'm thinking seriously about trying to get on the local airmed unit.

    How do you all like it? I realize there are inherent things that come with the job that a lot of people can't cope with but just consider I'm one that can. Any advice on how to get on? Any body on a Utah unit would be great to hear from but any info in general is also appreciated.

    If the airmed thing doesn't work out then I'll probably still get on a fulltime dept. Already getting on a volunteer dept. here where I live but am very interested in making it a career.

    Thanks for looking.

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    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    YMMV; some helos will take any Paramedic that weighs less than their cutoff tonnage (like 195 lbs) but most have certain standards since they do critical care interfacility transports or provide advanced scene care. Like I can call one in on a patient that needs a surgical airway since my area's OMD won't approve them for field use.

    The helo that my employer uses (Nightingale/Sentara in Norfolk, VA) requires certain years of experience in all aspects of emergency care, like having worked as a Medic in the local children's hospital, etc. etc.

    Research your options and plan ahead. Now all I've talked about is helos. Fixed wing is another option but all the ones I have interacted with seem to have pretty high standards too. I've seen a lot of their Medics also be RNs or respiratory therapists, so they can cover a wider base of care.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Member Array kinoons's Avatar
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    You'll find that the majority of aeromedical transport agencies, especially those who do scene responses, are going to require several years, usually 5, of experience prior to hiring a medic. You'll most likely have to work for a private ambulance or fire department first.

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    Member Array snakatack's Avatar
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    All the above is true. I worked five years on a air ambulance.

    Since you are almost done with your EMT... Consider working in that role a year or two full time before taking on your Medic.

    You know, see if the shoe fits before you make another huge commitment. Take the time to perfect your BLS. skills as they will be invaluable if and when you decide to go for your Medic.

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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Air Medical Services will not hire EMT-B's. All air services in my State require Critical Care RN's and Critical Care EMT-P's. CCEMT-P is an extra certification after obtaining your EMT-P license which trains you for managing critical care transports for patients with central catheters, art. lines like swan-ganz, ventilator management, neonatal care, etc.

    You will also likely have to have at least 5 years field experience at the EMT-P level. Jobs for air medical services are highly competitive so most require just about every type of certification you can obtain including BTLS or PHTLS, PALS, ACLS etc.

    As an EMT and Paramedic instructor and a Missouri State skills test examiner, I highly recommend spending a year or two in the field as an EMT-B before you consider attending Paramedic school. While you can, in most cases start a Paramedic program immediately after obtaining your EMT-B license, a lot of Paramedic programs these days are starting to require a year as an EMT-B before you can apply anyway.

    There's nothing wrong with getting your feet wet and gaining some experience before you move up. With 30 years field experience I can say that a lot of people who want to skip all the basic stuff and go directly for the gold tend to become medics of a lesser caliber than those who spend the time, pay their dues and become competent in the basic level skills before moving up.

    Myself, I worked full time in a major metropolitan ambulance service and was a part time Life Flight dispatcher for 4 years just waiting for an opportunity for a flight crew position. By the time a flight crew opening came along, I was already heavily involved in technical rescue work on a fire dept. and passed on the helicopter gig. You can end up with too many irons in the fire to really be good at any one thing and I didn't want to fall into that category.

    Good luck in your EMS career and be safe. Permanent disabling injuries happen every day in this occupation so stay physically fit and live a healthy lifestyle and it will serve you well.
    -Bark'n
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    Member Array snakatack's Avatar
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    "There's nothing wrong with getting your feet wet and gaining some experience before you move up. With 30 years field experience I can say that a lot of people who want to skip all the basic stuff and go directly for the gold tend to become medics of a lesser caliber than those who spend the time, pay their dues and become competent in the basic level skills before moving up."

    Ditto that. I'm pushing 40 years in EMS. (Serving since 1971) and it's also been my observation that those who "go directly for the gold" indeed tend to be lessor caliber medics. And equally important... They are also far more likely to burn out quickly.

    A career in EMS. isn't everybodys cup of tea and that's okay. There's no harm in getting your feet wet by becoming a good solid EMT-B before taking the plunge for your Paramedic license. Like I was saying above, find out if the shoe fits before comitting more of your life into something that just might not be you. In the end, you'll almost certainaly be better off for it.

  8. #7
    Member Array Dustinmk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Research your options and plan ahead.
    This is part of my research. I totally agree with everone on getting some experience I was just getting a feel for what to expect in the future. Like said above I need to know what to plan for and how to train to make it a solid option. I'm most likely getting on our volunteer dept. the first of the year and if that pans out and I enjoy it then I'll make the move to a full time dept. for a few years and also get my EMT-I then make the jump to paramedic and hopefully air-med.

    I realize this isn't an easy career and most people can't cope with it but I think getting a solid feel for what I'm getting into will help.

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