Austin-Travis County and Surrounding

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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Fire departments are civil service as well, and still start paramedics as paramedics...
 

RocketMedic

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I feel like a lot kf places do that. AMR has a person ride for about 14-16 shifts while they learn the protocols then take a protocol test at the end of their last field training shift. you have three chances to pass it and each time you take it your score has to be higher to pass. and we dont even do anything it feels like

What sort of protocols does AMR-Houston have?
 

nyislesfan42

Forum Crew Member
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We have typical 911 protocols which is stupid since we dont do any 911 at all. Our medical director is the same one that HCC has
 

TransportJockey

Forum Chief
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an ATCEMS HR rep told me, it is due to them being civil service. You can be the best paramedic in north america but you still HAVE to start as an emt-b.
It's more like AEMT-lite if you're a medic and riding in the Medic 1 position. And I have been told by some friends that work at ATC, that they are looking at ways of fast tracking experienced paramedics through to Medic 2 or just hiring them as Medic 2 from the get-go
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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It's more like AEMT-lite if you're a medic and riding in the Medic 1 position. And I have been told by some friends that work at ATC, that they are looking at ways of fast tracking experienced paramedics through to Medic 2 or just hiring them as Medic 2 from the get-go
Would seriously consider moving if that happened. Didn't invest in myself to go to paramedic school to not actually work as a paramedic.
 

agregularguy

Forum Lieutenant
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Would seriously consider moving if that happened. Didn't invest in myself to go to paramedic school to not actually work as a paramedic.

Heh, this is exactly why I didn't end up applying to Austin-Travis. They do a bunch of really cool stuff, but I had zero desire to not work at the paramedic level after going through medic school. Really good agency from all I've seen/heard, but poor hiring practice in that regard IMO.
 

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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That would make it a much more attractive option to a lot of people. With that being said, I am starting to find myself less and less eager to 'just" be a paramedic somewhere- I want to run something.
 

nyislesfan42

Forum Crew Member
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I would think of it more in the long term. Is it worth struggling through a year of practicing below your skill level in order to work for a company that takes care of their employees?


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TransportJockey

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I would think of it more in the long term. Is it worth struggling through a year of practicing below your skill level in order to work for a company that takes care of their employees?


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I think that's why a lot of us keep an eye out for WilCo to hire. They're a great all paramedic service right next door to ATC

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aquabear

World's Okayest Paramedic
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I think that's why a lot of us keep an eye out for WilCo to hire. They're a great all paramedic service right next door to ATC

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Wilco will hire in January to fill open and newly created positions. If you're interested, start studying AMLS and reviewing our SOC.

But back to our neighbors to the south, ATCEMS is a great organization, but the requirement to clear as a Medic 1 before you can promote seems a little backwards to me too. They had an accelerated hiring/promotional process for medics last year, but I don't know what came of it or what the time line is to promote to Medic 2 is.
 

RocketMedic

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Eh, I'm actually pretty okay with Creek. It's not perfect, but I have a good set of partners, a shift that works for me, and clinical practice that helps people, lets me do my job without much fuss, and doesn't insult my intelligence the way ATC does.
 

bizzy522

Forum Crew Member
61
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Ill jump on the wagon. ATCEMS would be a really fun service to work at. They are a busy service in a beautiful city.. BUT I too am against the medic 1 BLS provider process for Paramedics. Also even with short transport times DSI would be very beneficial for select patients.

WCEMS is probably the best all around service. Great medical director, great protocols and the Round Rock/Cedar Park area is up and coming! The only thing that had me worried about applying at WCEMS is job security. With Georgetown Fire taking over I would be concerned about other departments attempting to do the same. Not saying it will happen but it seems to the the trend around here lately.

SMHCEMS is better then they were a few years ago and will probably keep getting better as time goes on. Strong new protocols, new involved medical director, new front line trucks, and a not to mention Hays county is growing fast. Then only think I disliked when I worked there was the types of calls you ran. You mainly babysit drunk college kids Thursday-Sunday. Also the Dispatch and CAD system is not up to speed (Compared to TC).

Ill throw a new one in the hat. Pflugerville (TCESD2) just got 4 ambulances up and running. All new fords with power load stretchers, king vision, strong protocols, and starting next year dual paramedic squads. ( You will have to be fire certified ). Also a very fast growing area.
 

Sruiz2169

Forum Probie
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new to the forums here and sitting for NREMT in mid-jan (hopefully). Wanted to say thanks for the Central Texas locations to look for jobs. I put in interest cards with Schertz, SMHCEMS, and ATCEMS.
 

RocketMedic

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Smhcems is on my radar as a good organization. I'd also throw props to Bexar/Bulverde and Schertz. Acadian has good people but meh organization, policies and management
 
OP
OP
Medico

Medico

Forum Lieutenant
125
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I chose employment with ATCEMS for several reasons, and I'll explain my rationale of how I came to my decision in case it helps anyone else.

ATCEMS is an established third-party system with civil service protection. There is a defined rank structure providing many opportunities and avenues for advancement: Medic I > Medic II > Captain > Commander > Chief. They work a 42 hour work week, which is a modified 24/72 hour schedule. There are reverse 24's, standard 24's, and 12-hour shifts, something for everyone. There are opportunities to transfer to other divisions working in Continued Education, Special Events, Academy, Special Operations, Tactical Medicine, Communications, and Designated Medical Officer. This is a huge plus because you do not have to be on a medic unit for the rest of your career. They also have motorcycle medics, bike medics, etc. Plus, they have a defined pension - you get to retire!

The common 'negative' I hear people gripe about is the Medic I designation. Personally, I find that to be egotistical. It is only for one year, and then you can promote to Medic II, which comes with a hefty pay increase. You get the opportunity to learn the city, operations and clinical side with less stress. Which is beneficial if you are new to Austin. Not to mention, after you complete your 10-week academy and credential as a Medic I you're about 5-6 months into your one year, so in reality, you're working as a Medic I for <6 months in some cases. The dept. does recognize this as a problem for some and they are working on a way to allow paramedics to operate at some capacity at the Medic I level. The Medic I and Medic II levels came about after the dept. was voted to become civil service.

I chose not to apply to WilCo. because they work a 56-hour week, there are less advancement opportunity and few options to work off the ambulance. Plus, you don't get the City.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
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I chose employment with ATCEMS for several reasons, and I'll explain my rationale of how I came to my decision in case it helps anyone else.

ATCEMS is an established third-party system with civil service protection. There is a defined rank structure providing many opportunities and avenues for advancement: Medic I > Medic II > Captain > Commander > Chief. They work a 42 hour work week, which is a modified 24/72 hour schedule. There are reverse 24's, standard 24's, and 12-hour shifts, something for everyone. There are opportunities to transfer to other divisions working in Continued Education, Special Events, Academy, Special Operations, Tactical Medicine, Communications, and Designated Medical Officer. This is a huge plus because you do not have to be on a medic unit for the rest of your career. They also have motorcycle medics, bike medics, etc. Plus, they have a defined pension - you get to retire!

The common 'negative' I hear people gripe about is the Medic I designation. Personally, I find that to be egotistical. It is only for one year, and then you can promote to Medic II, which comes with a hefty pay increase. You get the opportunity to learn the city, operations and clinical side with less stress. Which is beneficial if you are new to Austin. Not to mention, after you complete your 10-week academy and credential as a Medic I you're about 5-6 months into your one year, so in reality, you're working as a Medic I for <6 months in some cases. The dept. does recognize this as a problem for some and they are working on a way to allow paramedics to operate at some capacity at the Medic I level. The Medic I and Medic II levels came about after the dept. was voted to become civil service.

I chose not to apply to WilCo. because they work a 56-hour week, there are less advancement opportunity and few options to work off the ambulance. Plus, you don't get the City.
Well and good. I'd seriously love to work there. But egotistical? Ok. I put a lot of my life into being a good paramedic. The whole investment in myself thing. Why won't ATC recognize that?
 
OP
OP
Medico

Medico

Forum Lieutenant
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Well and good. I'd seriously love to work there. But egotistical? Ok. I put a lot of my life into being a good paramedic. The whole investment in myself thing. Why won't ATC recognize that?

I have no doubt that you have sacrificed and devoted a lot to your education. The people on this forum are a minority of the many people who hold an ALS certification. You know, became ALS to get hired with a FD, thought it would be easy, [insert whatever ludicrous reason someone became a medic here]. The people who did not take their education serious then apply to the dept. and those people are not always successful in the academy or during their initial credentialing. Of course, there are still those individuals who fall through the cracks.

I believe this is one thing that sets ATCEMS apart from other departments. Their standards ensure consistent care from their paramedics and protect the integrity of the department; this is evident by the 10-week academy when hired and 16-week academy when promoting to Medic II. During the Medic II academy, you receive advance training exceeding that of what is traditionally taught in a CC course. They invest a lot of money in you, building off of what you already know. People who are most successful are those like yourself.

As a Medic I, you get to provide patient care and treat patients. You still get to use your knowledge and experience to help guide the patient's treatment.
The department is very structured, which I appreciate. It is my opinion that the department looks and is operated more professionally, much like our LE and FD counterparts. This is indeed a positive as the EMS profession continues to establish itself as a career and a stand-alone entity separate from fire. This type of environment attracts people who love medicine, want to be clinicians and advance prehospital medicine.

Oh, I also forgot to previously mention their Community Health Paramedic division that you can work in!
 

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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Yeah, but going from high-functioning ICP to a basic who apparently takes 4-6 months to learn to read a map....
 
OP
OP
Medico

Medico

Forum Lieutenant
125
18
18
Map reading takes a few hours. You should be intuitive enough to pick up on that.

Civil Service law in Texas requires that you be in your rank/position for 3 years before your promote. The Meet and Confer contract changed that to 1 year. Now the department is working on allowing paramedics to perform their skills at a Medic I level.

For me, being 3rd party and civil service is worth the short period where I don't get to start an IV.
 

RocketMedic

Californian, Lost in Texas
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Map reading takes a few hours. You should be intuitive enough to pick up on that.

Civil Service law in Texas requires that you be in your rank/position for 3 years before your promote. The Meet and Confer contract changed that to 1 year. Now the department is working on allowing paramedics to perform their skills at a Medic I level.

For me, being 3rd party and civil service is worth the short period where I don't get to start an IV.

Being able to be a lead medic after credentialing might make ATC worth it. Maybe.
 
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