Many Fire Departments require that you have a paramedic license before you can even apply to be a Firefighter. Getting licensed as a paramedic will boost your chances of being hired in most departments.
Becoming a licensed paramedic is not an easy task. The requirements are very difficult. As a Paramedic, you will be licensed at the highest level of EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). You will be trained and certified to perform advanced life support (ALS). You will be performing advanced respiratory procedures, administering IV fluids, giving injections and medications. You will treat wounds, give CPR and sometimes deliver babies.
There are many job opportunities for paramedics such as: FF/Paramedic, Flight Paramedic, You can work in a hospital ER or even on a cruise ship.
To be eligible for the Paramedic Program of a junior college in California you must:
Have a high school diploma or equivalent.
You must have a current EMT-Basic Certificate
You must have worked in the field with a minimum of 6 months full time paid work experience. (In part 2, we will discuss working in the field)
You will need to take the prerequisite courses - typically college level Anatomy and Physiology and the Paramedic Prep classes. Many colleges will require college level biology, math and English. (Each school will be different).