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Is it REALLY a bad idea to get an EMT certification?


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Hello

 

I'm a high school senior that will shortly be attending college (studying aeronautical sciences). My ultimate career goal is to work as a pilot for an air ambulance company one day.

 

Aside from aviation, my other interests involve emergency services. I am very interested in getting my EMT this summer, but read that having the certification can possibly reduce a pilot applicant's chance to get hired by air ambulance company/organization.

 

Is this true? Can having an EMT and possibly working on ambulance in college really hurt my chances of getting hired by an air ambulance company?

 

Thanks

 

Dylan

Edited by dylanfwhit
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I've never heard that one before. I would have thought that having anything like that on your resume would make you an even better candidate for that type of work.

 

It takes a lot of hours of flight time and hard work to get to a HEMS pilot seat. By the time you are ready to get into it, I don't think having an EMT cert will hurt you.

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Air Methods has pilots with EMT experience.

 

They have a pilot going through nursing school too. Buddy of mine that needed to burn some GI Bill money.

 

The whole no pilot & nurse/emt thing came from an accident 6 years ago in Indiana. The Pilot had worked the 24 hr shift before as a nurse, then jumped in the pilot seat for the next 12hr. I don't remember if he had 10 hrs off in the middle, but he got distracted and flew it into the ground (CFIT) over a black hole. He and the med crew survived, the patient did not. He kept quite and surrendered his pilot certificate, but the thought was he was interacting with the patient or was in "nurse mode" trying to help out. A few other factors--the helicopter was new to that base and they found he had an MP3 player plugged into his helmet. Most people think he just fell asleep at the controls.

 

After that, and issues between pilot w/ medical experience and the medical crew, companies tried to outlaw the whole pilot + nurse/medic combo. But if they did that, they should have outlawed nurses & medics with any flight experience too (to be fair.) It didn't last long.

 

Main thing, go ahead and get it, but just shut up about it when it comes time for an interview. It's the "EMS-junkies" turned pilots that scares employers. If you go in there in EMS pants, fire t-shirt, and whip out all your medical certifications on a pilto interview, they're going to send you across the hall to the guy who hires paramedics. Just say, "Yeah, I worked a little in EMS out of high school," and move on to the flying. Always remember, you're a HELICOPTER pilot first.

 

But, don't ever try to "help" the med crew assess or treat the patient--your job is to fly. Same goes for them, when they start telling you how to fly because they just got 10 hrs in a R22.

 

Besides, it's great to have multiple talents, plus something to fall back on. You'll need somewhere to make money too. People aren't getting any smarter,and find new way to get hurt. EMS will always be there.

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They have a pilot going through nursing school too. Buddy of mine that needed to burn some GI Bill money.

 

The whole no pilot & nurse/emt thing came from an accident 6 years ago in Indiana. The Pilot had worked the 24 hr shift before as a nurse, then jumped in the pilot seat for the next 12hr. I don't remember if he had 10 hrs off in the middle, but he got distracted and flew it into the ground (CFIT) over a black hole. He and the med crew survived, the patient did not. He kept quite and surrendered his pilot certificate, but the thought was he was interacting with the patient or was in "nurse mode" trying to help out. A few other factors--the helicopter was new to that base and they found he had an MP3 player plugged into his helmet. Most people think he just fell asleep at the controls.

 

After that, and issues between pilot w/ medical experience and the medical crew, companies tried to outlaw the whole pilot + nurse/medic combo. But if they did that, they should have outlawed nurses & medics with any flight experience too (to be fair.) It didn't last long.

 

Main thing, go ahead and get it, but just shut up about it when it comes time for an interview. It's the "EMS-junkies" turned pilots that scares employers. If you go in there in EMS pants, fire t-shirt, and whip out all your medical certifications on a pilto interview, they're going to send you across the hall to the guy who hires paramedics. Just say, "Yeah, I worked a little in EMS out of high school," and move on to the flying. Always remember, you're a HELICOPTER pilot first.

 

But, don't ever try to "help" the med crew assess or treat the patient--your job is to fly. Same goes for them, when they start telling you how to fly because they just got 10 hrs in a R22.

 

Besides, it's great to have multiple talents, plus something to fall back on. You'll need somewhere to make money too. People aren't getting any smarter,and find new way to get hurt. EMS will always be there.

 

Excellent post, Delorean!

 

I was a hiring manager for your EMS company, and I can assure you, we looked very closely at those applicants with EMT or RN by their credentials. Few got second call backs because of the potential distraction in flight.

 

Be a pilot, or be a medic. Make your choice and stick to it. (Just because the nurses think they can fly does not mean that you should consider tit for tat)

 

SkidKid

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Excellent post, Delorean!

 

I was a hiring manager for your EMS company, and I can assure you, we looked very closely at those applicants with EMT or RN by their credentials. Few got second call backs because of the potential distraction in flight.

 

Be a pilot, or be a medic. Make your choice and stick to it. (Just because the nurses think they can fly does not mean that you should consider tit for tat)

 

SkidKid

 

Wow...I never thought of it like that before..I got my EMT cert out of high school many years ago and worked as an EMT for a couple of years.. Its long been expired though, but I'll have to keep that in mind if I ever get to the point where I can apply for HEMS... Not that I agree or think that it would be a distraction.. Being an EMT is like slightly advanced first aid, it is just good knowledge to have for life, but it wouldn't distract from being a pilot.

Edited by Vindicated0721
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Interesting! I definitely will think about this more, thanks for all your posts. It sounds like its not the best idea to get it.

 

Dylan

 

Dylan-

I think you're misinterpreting a little bit. The industry as a whole separates duties, 'compartmentalizes' them as it were, for varied reasons, first amongst which (in my pilot view) is flight safety.

An EMS pilot's job is first, last, and always to safely complete the flight. Everything else is secondary: FARs; company policy; efficient operation of the aircraft; making the medical crew happy; flying over your girlfriend's house, EVERYTHING ELSE is secondary to safely completing the flight. Patient care is, unfortunately for the patient, somewhere on that list of 'not as important as'. As the cliches have it "Don't kill 4 trying to save 1", or even colder- "It's not my emergency".

You can be an EMT, Paramedic, Nurse, cop, accountant, whatever- just not while you're being an EMS pilot. If you're not devoting 100% of your attention whilst in the cockpit to flying, you're an accident waiting to happen. And, sometimes, it's really freakin' hard to keep what's happenin' on the litter from distracting me, but that's especially when I need to be FLYING the aircraft as efficiently and safely as possible. If the patient's sick enough that my medical crew is WORKING HARD, it's my 40 years ago Boy Scout First Aid opinion that I don't want the pilot (me) to screw it up by being stupid. (We have very experienced, bright medical crew.) When the patient's bleeding all over the ceiling, and I have 250 lbs of car-door door tearing-off paramedic CPR-ing, it's a little distracting, and I don't have a clue as to what's goin' on. It would be really tough if I knew enough to think about it...

 

Point is this, in my opinion: If you want to be an EMT, do it. The first responders, EMTs, paramedics, firemen, flight nurses, and other good samaritans are the real reason this job is as rewarding as it is. I help them and it's a very positive vibe. Being part of that, "speaking the language" would be great. Just keep it something outside your doing the pilot's job, part if being who you are and helping out.

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Hello

 

I'm a high school senior that will shortly be attending college (studying aeronautical sciences). My ultimate career goal is to work as a pilot for an air ambulance company one day.

 

Aside from aviation, my other interests involve emergency services. I am very interested in getting my EMT this summer, but read that having the certification can possibly reduce a pilot applicant's chance to get hired by air ambulance company/organization.

 

Is this true? Can having an EMT and possibly working on ambulance in college really hurt my chances of getting hired by an air ambulance company?

 

Thanks

 

Dylan

 

I was an EMT many years ago and enjoyed doing that. This was prior to the paramedic programs of today. Later I was hired to fly medivac fixed wing aircraft. The fact that I was hired to fly had nothing to do with being an EMT.

 

I would only presume that today, medivac companies do not want you to be a Pilot and Paramedic at the same time. My opinion is that you should choose to do one or the other. If you are pilot, your priorities are flying safely. If you are a paramedic, your priority is patient care. Never should the two mix in today's environment.

 

You could fly airmed, then be a paramedic for ground operations. But overall, don't try to do both as you will become conflicted which may contribute to dangerous job environment for yourself and coworkers.

 

So, in my opinion, you will need to make a choice... Both choices are excellent! But please, choose just one.

 

Cheers

 

Rotorrodent

 

p.s. best choice for me was flying...never had any regret over that choice

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For me being a firefighter/emt is more of a extra hobby that I picked up. It's not quite as demanding as aviation, but it still takes a lot of dedication from you to do the best. There is one thing that's helped me out quite a bit in the aviation side with being a firefighter/emt, and that is working with the flight crews and building strong friendships with the pilots. When I go up to build hours I usually call one of them and see if they want to go up for a hour. I've learned a lot from them flying with me and the stories they've told me about their experiences. Since I signed up on here one thing that I've read over and over is that networking is key.

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