HazMat for EMS?

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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As part of my EMT program I'm certified as a HazMat First Responder-Awareness. I know our service, a private one, is now having members become trained and certified at the technician level.

What do you think about this? I know I think it would be helpful to have the "Operations" level, but I'm more than happy to let the FF take care of the HazMat for now :)
 

ffemt8978

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The Technician Level does seem to be a bit of over-qualification, unless you're considering doing rescues out of the hot zone. For the most part, Operations Level should be sufficient for decon of patients and such.
 
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MMiz

MMiz

I put the M in EMTLife
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As a private company that goes after bids, we're always trying to sell ourselves. I think it's safe to assume that the technician level is simply a selling point.
 

squid

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Tech level doesn't have much beyond Operations, IME. Both are pretty useful. But the Awareness level mostly teaches you that everything is methyl-ethyl-death and you should go seventeen miles upwind and very gingerly call the hazmat team so the force of your finger on the radio button doesn't cause an explosion or something :D

I'm sort of a big proponent of "the more you know..." As in, the more you know about what the hazmat techs will do, the better and safer you can do your job. Even if you don't want to go near the stuff yourself.
 

pfmedic

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Technician as a medic? Thats highly specialized.

Im taking the operations class right now. I dont see any reason to make you guys take the technician course, unless you live in chemical central or work on a base of some sort.

Perhaps you are to be a key player in a Hazardous Materials Response Team (HMRT) as a medic in the decon corridor? If the answer is no, and I imagine that it is, then the course may not be for you. However, when your boss wants you to do something, you usually have no choice in the matter. I have chewed this over for a few minutes and I honestly cant understand why you would need to have this as a paramedic or EMT.

I want to take the class, but then I am considering becoming part of an HMRT somewhere down the road in some form... so the course interests me greatly. I am taking Chemistry of Hazardous Materials next semester. :)
 
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MMiz

MMiz

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The private service I work for provides 911 EMS service to a 6 square mile city, and responds to calls throughout the county. Of course, like many private companies, we are actively looking to pick up cities. Right now there are six other competitors in the county. At one time AMR ran the show, but now it's an all out fight.

We recently got our city contract back in 2003, and it was our first 911 contract. Many of our paramedics simply jumped ship when the other company lost their contract, and got hired by the company I work for. The city also runs an all-volunteer fire department, so every single one of those medics also work fire when off duty.

Sending a couple of guys to get trained at the tech level is seen as job/contract security. It's a great contract that pays a substantial amount in addition to us billing for treatment / transport. Working for a suburb with little crime but lots of traffic is fun.

I guess the "Technician" label is kind of like the "Student of the month award" I give out to my middle school students. I won't mean a thing when they go apply to college, but it sure looks good when published in the paper and when they go around the school bragging about it :)
 
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