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Hello All,


I've just decided that it's time to retire from the Navy after 23 rewarding years including lots of flying where it hits you "I can't believe I get paid to do this" and on the flip side "I hope I never have that happen again!"


In thinking about what to do next I've started exploring HEMS as a next step hoping to get into the Great Lakes region. Even though I'm still about 10 months out I'm starting to get antsy about knowing whether there is a job waiting for me before I pull the plug.


My question is: Is it too early to start applying? I get that a certain position that is open now won't necessarily be open a year from now but would it be unheard of to at least get a verbal from a company this far out? Do companies have a fair idea of positions that would be coming open in the near future?


I appreciate any thoughts you all may have. Thanks!

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Usually EMS bases have sudden openings and then close again. There's a lot of natural flux in the EMS industry with pilots coming and going all the time. Because a missing pilot creates a lot of extra work for other pilots at the base and in the region, the managers try to fill the openings as quickly as possible. A good example: My base currently has an opening and we had 3 guys apply. The manager interviewed all three, chose the one he liked best but offered the other two open positions at neighboring bases.

I don't think it's worth applying for anything officially because managers are usually looking for guys who can start almost immediately. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the company and ensure you meet all the requirements, and then track down who the guy in charge is and get in touch with him as well as your timeframe for being available to work. If he already knows you and knows you want to be there, he'll probably have something in the region lined up when you become available.

Also, because of the flux, be willing to go where you're needed because a spot will open in your desired area sooner or later. If you're willing to go where you're needed for 6 months, then you'll already have your foot in the door when something opens up.

It's a lot easier to get a job at a base where nobody wants to work and then transfer than to wait for a spot to open somewhere popular and then have to compete against other candidates for it.


Good Luck

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I pretty much agree with everything Zippie said. Get a hold of the area manager for where you want to be, get on his/her radar and be willing to accept a hard to fill position to eventually get to where you want to be.


Fwiw if you want to work for Air Methods and are going through the normal HR route get a hold of them a few months in advance. When I was there they moved at a glacial pace.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've applied to both AEL (about 10 bases) and Air Methods ( another 10 bases or so). Got the initial HR phone interview for both, but havent heard back from either in about 3 weeks. I was wondering if its better to try and find a regional direction or area manager and kind of reverse engineer your way in. Any advice on this would be helpful.


I do meet or exceed all posted requirements. Willing to relocate.

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  • 3 months later...

I applied approximately 2 months before retirement and they gave me a base and class date. I had been watching this particular company for approximately 18 months prior to retirement and as someone already mentioned these positions come and go frequently. Of course that could have a lot to do with the company and the base locations as well. Fortunately my desired locations turnover often. That turnover rate also allowed me to transfer to my desired location within a couple of months as well. Good Luck.

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