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EMT: What I do and how much I make

Video transcript

my name is Anne Kelsey 25 years old my job title is EMT firefighter with Chado emergency services my annual income is 28 to base income with 30 to 34 with overtime as an EMT I am first and foremost a partner for my paramedic on an ALS truck advanced life support so I assist the paramedic in their assessment of a patient perhaps setting up different kind of IV set up setting up the cardiac monitor for a patient and providing basic life support skills such as CPR interventions simple interventions for airway and breathing and do a lot of driving it can be a very emotionally and mentally demanding kind of job as well as physically but mostly it's the mental remembering okay I have to go through this step this step in this step in order to do this what am I overlooking when you do your patient assessments you know you have your ABCs or C a B depending on what you're looking for so that would be airway breathing circulation so you want to make sure every intervention you're doing is what's the most important right this second and then move on to the next so we're responding a lot to shooting stabbings assaults but also there's some of the more exciting things on a positive side like we have a lot of pregnant patients there's kind of a little Club and Chatham EMS handing out pins like a little stork pin for every baby deliver so we try to make light of virtually everything that we go to but it's a very busy MS service we we run a lot of calls like a large major city all still being kind of a smaller city in southeast Georgia I work on a 12-hour ambulance so I show up at 6:00 in the morning and I don't clock out until 6:00 at night so at 6:00 in the morning I show up clock in and immediately go to check off the ambulance usually with my partner that includes doing a walk around the whole ambulance making sure that there's no damage no new damage from any other possible crews checking off at all the equipment and all the lights and all the sirens work making sure the tires are inflated properly then you go into the inside of the ambulance and check off all this back here when you get a call from dispatch you get the details about where it is maybe who's involved and if PD or fire or somebody is also responding so as you that's part of what we call a scene size-up and we can request more information from dispatch we can talk to the Metro dispatchers who deal with PD and try to gather more information so we know we're walking into but for the most part it's it's an unknown 98% your calls you have no idea what's gonna happen half the job of skills the other half is being mentally prepared for some of the things you might see you can see some very gruesome things whether it be car accident shooting stabbings you can you have to be prepared to not only be dirty but help people or try to reassure people or comfort somebody when they're having a genuine emergency if someone calls 911 one this is an emergency to them we might not consider an emergency for one reason or another because of our own experiences but to someone else this might be the worst day of their life and you have to be prepared to see that all the time you have to be prepared to have family members around when there's someone dying and they're hysterical because of the emotional attachment they have to somebody who might be dying right there in front of them so you have to be prepared to deal with them deal with your own emotions etc this this can be very trying for some people everybody has their own their own means of dealing with it you know some people are religious some people are able to disassociate themselves in a clinical standpoint from the patient they don't humanize them as much because the emotional trying kind of because the emotionally trying aspect of the job you see a lot of people have relationships at an end in divorce they don't get as much time at home because they're always at homes married to the job first so it's a lot of things that have to be prepared for and hope that you can find a good balance for that's probably the hardest part is finding the balance probably the most difficult aspect for me personally is pediatric patients that are involved in some kind of a trauma or seeing pediatric abuse and you're one of the first people actually notice this and you have to get police involved that's always really hard for me kids seem to be the biggest thing Pediatrics are the biggest thing for most people we're inherently protective of children so when you see one that's being abused or when that's been hurt it hurts you you know same thing with geriatric older patients you get them that's also one of most frustrating things is you see them taking advantage of in a sense or not treated properly nursing homes or maybe the family doesn't take very good care of them so they're actually going to the hospital a lot more because their health is constantly in decline so I get really frustrated for the health care that my patients receive and it genuinely feels like our our job is almost their first line of defense it can be kind of frustrating because that's not how an ambulance service is supposed to work that's how it does work basically but people should be able to go and get the patient care they need and a lot of times were their primary assets so we have to be patient advocates we have to make sure that they're getting the care that they need once we get to the hospital and explain the doctors nurses etc this is the circumstances can we do anything extra to help them a lot of times we'll call in defects for children or for older people that are being abused at home and we get the police involved and we're an advocate for our patient so those are probably more trying or frustrating parts of the job physical fitness is a big part of it I myself try to go to the gym at least once a day five to six times a week sometimes I go in twice I come from more of a physical background through you know athletics in high school and college and all that but also starting out my career as a firefighter first then go in and do an EMT physical training was very important to me it's not uncommon to see people are in this career field who don't take care of themselves physically their own health starts to fail because you're sitting on a truck a lot of times and it encourages you know a poor diet not enough exercise etc so it's something that somebody really has to be conscious about and remember you can't help somebody else if you're not able to help yourself many of the reasons that I really enjoy this job would include the gratification you get from helping somebody seeing a family member or the patient themselves saying thank you so much it's it's something it just really warms your soul I enjoy no days that say everyday you're gonna have a hundred different calls and none of them no two calls are ever exactly alike something's always different where you're going is always different you get to see little parts of someone's life and interact with somebody on a level that most people in passing don't get to do we don't really do this job necessarily for the pay because if there's not a great deal pay in it you do it for the gratification see if we prepared for all that my salary baseline is roughly 28-thousand a year at the baseline 28 that usually ends up scaling up to around 34,000 a year with overtime we have built in overtime in addition to our overtime that we choose for ourselves paramedics are looking probably about thirty to a year baseline closer to 36 37 with overtime that then scales up a little bit more at the FTO field training officer or lieutenant position and that's here in our department our lieutenants are salaried versus hourly but they can get additional overtime hours anyway same thing other captains and eventually the chief at different levels you have battalion Chiefs then you have overall department Chiefs so you're looking at a ceiling of 80,000 plus in our local area which for the cost of living is comfortable you know it's comparable to achieve some some larger cities that are making six figures so there's there's a wide range of entry level all the way up to the very top that could include certifications education promotions time in etc
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