Paramedic physical ability

Tommyguam92

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So Im in a EMT-I program and I have a few questions.

I want to be a paramedic in DC eventually. and I am over weight but I can still do the job to my fullest. I can lift heavy object and equipment and I can lift patients and load them into the ambulance. I know I probably will have to work at a small station before I work my way into Washington. What kind of tests to they give Paramedics to test their physical ability.


Thanks!
 

usafmedic45

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At a lot of places, "Can you lift the cot?" is about the extent of it.
 
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Tommyguam92

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Ok, I was worried that I had to do some sort of 2 mile run. That was a requirement for FDNY when I was applying as a EMT-B and I got denied for that. Thank you
 

the_negro_puppy

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Ok, I was worried that I had to do some sort of 2 mile run. That was a requirement for FDNY when I was applying as a EMT-B and I got denied for that. Thank you

You dont have to be aerobically/anaerobically fit to be an EMT or Paramedic. You never run or sprint anywhere :p You only need the strength to safely move and lift patients, equipment and stretchers. Just because you are more portly doesnt mean you cant do the job
 

MedicBender

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All 911 EMS in DC is run my DCFD, or as they're now known DC FEMS. All paramedics are cross trained as fire fighters, and prior to employment all potential candidates must complete the CPAT or something similar.

http://fems.dc.gov/DC/FEMS/About+FE...+Level+Examinations+Paramedic+and+Firefighter

A few websites state that they hire just paramedics, but last I heard all paramedics are assigned to fire apparatus and will upgrade the BLS ambulances as necessary. Therefor, all paramedics are cross trained as fire fighters.

So to answer your original question, yes, there is a physical test.

This gives a basic overview of the CPAT and what to expect

http://www.aacounty.org/Personnel/Resources/CPAT_Events.pdf

The other career departments in the area (Arlington, Fairfax, etc) use the same test

AMR has a base in DC, and they hire paramedics, but they only do IFT stuff.
 
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medicdan

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Quite a surprising number of EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Fighters are overweight and obese, and in fact, the night shift at some stations looks more like a CPAP farm than an ambulance station.

With that said, the question is not only whether you can do the job when you enter, but also as your continue with the job. Body Mass Index is a poor indicator of obesity if you have muscle weight, as is simply a weight. Performing the job safely (and successfully) is not just about weight either, it's about proper lifting dynamics, knowledge of your limits, etc.
 
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Tommyguam92

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Although it isnt easy, I was worried that I would have to run two miles or do so many push ups. I think I can handle this but I still got alot of practicing to do, nonetheless. Thank you!
 

NomadicMedic

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There is a CPAT prep exercise program out there on the web. If you're not in shape, I recommend it. The step mill seems like a cakewalk, but it's where the majority of undertrained applicants fail.


Sent from my iPhone.
 

MedicBender

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There is a CPAT prep exercise program out there on the web. If you're not in shape, I recommend it. The step mill seems like a cakewalk, but it's where the majority of undertrained applicants fail.


Sent from my iPhone.

I have a PDF of the training regiment saved on my computer, if anyone wants it shoot me your email over PM and I'll email it to you
 

Chief Complaint

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Although it isnt easy, I was worried that I would have to run two miles or do so many push ups. I think I can handle this but I still got alot of practicing to do, nonetheless. Thank you!


As has been mentioned, you will have to take the CPAT to work as a medic in DC, or anywhere in the surrounding suburbs. Its not extremely difficult but if you consider yourself to be in less than average shape its going to be a real PITA to pass.

Many departments offer CPAT mentoring for candidates that have completed the first round of testing, i highly suggest that you attend thos courses. They are grueling workouts but will help you to prepare for the CPAT.
 

Nvision

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Even PACK test and CPAT for Volly

I am a volunteer at our local Fire/EMS station. Since we are a full service house, they require us to take the same tests as the full time staff.
PACK test for Wildland Fire (3 miles, 50 pound pack, 45 minutes), and the CPAT for the regular EMS/Fire duty.

I must say 6 months ago I thought the PACK test would kill me, but I was under by 45 seconds. Now I am working on the CPAT fitness and think I will be good to go by my spring test.

It is all about time and commitment. I am at the gym at 6AM 4 days a week to get in shape. I have lost over 10 pounds and getting stronger every week.
Oh, and I'm 40 and have never been on a workout program before....

Best,

Nvision
 

nmasi

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I have some insight here for you:

Just because you dont have to run two miles or do pull/pushups to get hired dosnt mean you can do the job.

When I first started as a paramedic, I was overweight and out of shape. Ate out every meal and never excercised.

Worst move ever!

When your large rear end has to climb down into a 35' deep bayou with waste water and snakes in the bottom to treat a patient and then drag said patient in a stokes up the embankment, you will pay for it.

I thought I was going to code right on scene, put me out of service for 30 minutes while I recovered.

I had a nice chat with the wife and got my portly yet beautiful rear in shape, quit smoking and am now off all meds. Life and work is much, much easier now.

Do yourself a favor and get in shape while you are still in school because you will jepordize yourself, your partner and your patients if you dont.
 

hyperlyeman1

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I used to be on the swim team at my college. In the gym 4-5 hours 5 days a week. When i became involved in ems, I was in really good shape. after 4 years of eating fast food, sitting in a lazy boy, and pounding monsters, I can tell you that the job becomes exponentially easier when you are in shape. I have had times where I thought that I was in worse shape than the patient just carrying them down a flight of stairs (and in some cases that's probably true):p. All i can say is... do P90x, everyone can make the time to do it, and you will make your life so much easier by doing so.
 

pdibsie

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I have to agree with the above posts. Rather than just hoping you get through any physical tests, why not make a lifestyle change and be healthy? I am completely biased as I am a firefighter, but that is one aspect that *most* professional fire services seem to have a leg up on EMS-only services. Yes I get to work out on duty, but I also make the choice to live a healthy and active life outside of work. We must all present ourselves as professionally as possible, which means living healthy lifestyles when that is something that we preach to patients. On top of that, it's hard to treat a cardiac patient when you carry them down from a few flights of stairs and have to decide which one of you gets the spray of nitro first.
 

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