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FIREFIGHTER-PARAMEDIC: Getting into Field Is Competitive But Possible

About this video 

Andy is a firefighter-paramedic who went to four different schools - vocational, EMT, fire, paramedic - to get to his current position. He talks about the difficulty of getting into this industry, but advises that with hard work it's all very possible and doable.

Job Title: Firefighter-Paramedic
Employer: Sarasota County Fire Department

Job Summary: Firefighters

Job Description

Firefighters protect the public by responding to fires and other emergencies. They are frequently the first emergency personnel on the scene of an accident.

On-the-Job Training

Moderate-term on-the-job training

Certification Requirement
Firefighters must usually be certified as emergency medical technicians at the EMT-Basic level.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
$25,000 - $75,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time, Varies Widely, Irregular
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Outdoor, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Courageous, Strength/stamina, Teamwork, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Hand-eye coordination, Likes working with hands

Educational Path

Education requirement
Education Requirement
High school degree
Trade/vocational School
Recommended majors
Recommended Majors
Fire Protection
View Detailed Career Data

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='660'>My</span> <span m='780'>name's</span> <span m='980'>Andy.</span> <span m='1890'>I'm</span> <span m='2020'>a</span> <span m='2070'>firefighter</span> <span m='2550'>paramedic.</span> </p><p><span m='3290'>On</span> <span m='3430'>a</span> <span m='3650'>typical</span> <span m='4170'>day,</span> <span m='6070'>we</span> <span m='6380'>could</span> <span m='6560'>do</span> <span m='7210'>pretty</span> <span m='7480'>much</span> <span m='7700'>anything</span> <span m='8060'>under</span> <span m='8200'>the</span> <span m='8300'>sun.</span> <span m='8750'>Any</span> <span m='8970'>kind</span> <span m='9120'>of</span> <span m='9210'>emergency</span> <span m='9840'>is</span> <span m='11600'>what</span> <span m='11750'>we</span> <span m='11840'>could</span> <span m='11940'>be</span> <span m='12030'>called</span> <span m='12310'>to.</span> <span m='12860'>Fires,</span> <span m='13590'>EMS,</span> <span m='14880'>medical</span> <span m='15200'>problems,</span> <span m='16050'>vehicle</span> <span m='16350'>crashes,</span> <span m='16950'>any</span> <span m='17120'>kind</span> <span m='17270'>of</span> <span m='17330'>hazmat</span> <span m='17720'>incidents,</span> <span m='18510'>anything</span> <span m='18770'>like</span> <span m='18960'>that</span> <span m='19190'>this</span> <span m='19410'>is</span> <span m='19750'>what</span> <span m='19900'>we</span> <span m='20010'>can</span> <span m='20700'>look</span> <span m='20870'>forward</span> <span m='21180'>and</span> <span m='21370'>expect</span> <span m='21790'>throughout our</span> <span m='22100'>day.</span> </p><p><span m='23296'>What was your</span> <span m='23740'>career or</span> <span m='24110'>educational</span> <span m='24557'>path?</span> <span m='25004'>Did you</span> <span m='25451'>got to</span> <span m='25900'>school?</span> <span m='26800'>Had</span> <span m='27280'>training?</span> <span m='27550'>Previous</span> <span m='27820'>work?</span> </p><p><span m='28790'>Yeah,</span> <span m='29310'>vocational</span> <span m='29800'>school,</span> <span m='30250'>EMT</span> <span m='30680'>school,</span> <span m='31240'>then</span> <span m='31550'>fire</span> <span m='31910'>school,</span> <span m='32439'>as</span> <span m='32640'>well</span> <span m='32860'>as</span> <span m='33130'>paramedic</span> <span m='33660'>school</span> <span m='33920'>then</span> <span m='34040'>after</span> <span m='34260'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='35940'>Right</span> <span m='36250'>now,</span> <span m='36390'>to</span> <span m='36450'>get</span> <span m='36600'>a</span> <span m='36680'>job</span> <span m='37010'>in</span> <span m='37050'>this</span> <span m='37230'>industry,</span> <span m='37650'>it's</span> <span m='37910'>very</span> <span m='38240'>competitive,</span> <span m='39190'>and</span> <span m='39475'>I</span> <span m='39760'>would</span> <span m='40000'>expect it</span> <span m='40400'>to</span> <span m='40460'>be</span> <span m='40600'>that</span> <span m='40750'>way</span> <span m='40990'>for</span> <span m='41820'>quite</span> <span m='42040'>awhile.</span> <span m='42400'>It's</span> <span m='42570'>doable,</span> <span m='43110'>and</span> <span m='44120'>the</span> <span m='44190'>hard</span> <span m='44380'>work</span> <span m='44580'>pays</span> <span m='44850'>off.</span> <span m='45450'>You</span> <span m='45640'>keep</span> <span m='45840'>your</span> <span m='45920'>nose</span> <span m='46230'>to the</span> <span m='46280'>grindstone</span> <span m='46860'>on</span> <span m='46980'>this,</span> <span m='47210'>and</span> <span m='48070'>you'll</span> <span m='48170'>find</span> <span m='48400'>a</span> <span m='48440'>job.</span> </p><p><span m='50940'>Yeah,</span> <span m='51290'>you</span> <span m='51350'>should</span> <span m='51580'>expect</span> <span m='52190'>to</span> <span m='53110'>have</span> <span m='53230'>a</span> <span m='53290'>lot</span> <span m='53450'>of</span> <span m='53530'>fun,</span> <span m='53770'>first</span> <span m='54000'>and</span> <span m='54120'>foremost,</span> <span m='54630'>and</span> <span m='56000'>to</span> <span m='56450'>help</span> <span m='56680'>people,</span> <span m='57310'>obviously.</span> <span m='58050'>You</span> <span m='58210'>see</span> <span m='58380'>people</span> <span m='58790'>at</span> <span m='59310'>the</span> <span m='59440'>worst</span> <span m='59650'>times</span> <span m='59880'>in</span> <span m='59970'>their</span> <span m='60040'>lives,</span> <span m='60360'>so</span> <span m='60450'>you</span> <span m='60580'>really</span> <span m='60720'>have</span> <span m='60880'>an</span> <span m='60950'>opportunity</span> <span m='61530'>to</span> <span m='61600'>make</span> <span m='61780'>a</span> <span m='61850'>difference</span> <span m='62220'>in</span> <span m='62300'>people's</span> <span m='62590'>lives,</span> <span m='62910'>I</span> <span m='62980'>found.</span> 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