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Colorado Climbing & EMS Work - Seeking Advice


Original Post
Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 108

Hey all, 

Considering moving to Colorado year round (for a number of unrelated reasons) and looking for input. How is EMS in CO compared to other parts of the country?  Wondering if anyone has any input on communities or organizations I should look into. I've got friends in Summit and Lake counties, as well as Denver, but am open to other areas. I'd love to find a job that balances work and the opportunity to travel and guide occasionally.  I'm currently working as an EMT both pre-hospital and in an ED, and considering medic school as a potential option down the road. Any advice is appreciated. 

webdog · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 0

Just go to nursing school. Unless you want to be a fire medic. Private EMS pays pretty poorly. A friend works for a large company that's contracted for 911 system transports in the Denver area and when she transferred there with 9 yrs experience with the same company she was making $21/hr as an FTO (field training officer)

Luke Roberts · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 0

Don’t know how EMS compares to other parts of the country, I have only worked EMS in Colorado. Pay is pretty poor, $9 to $11 /hr in the private sector. $13 to $16 in public sector. In the mountain towns you’ll get about $15 - $17 as a fire/Emt-b. All of the pay above is starting pay as a fire/EMT-b with IV. When I worked as an EMT I had to have a second full time job just to make a little more than ends meet due to the cost of living in Colorado. Also, don’t expect to get In through the fire side of things unless you are a vet, have several years of experience in an active district, or have volunteered in Colorado for at least a year. Long story short, I am no longer in EMS for several different reasons, one of them being pay. 

Max Forbes · · Vermont & Colorado · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 108

Thanks for the insight folks... does anyone have any positive expierences...?

webdog · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 0

It's EMS, the only positives are what you make of it. I've had the privilege of working with and meeting many hard working, intelligent people who really care about their pt's and pt care. That being said it's low pay, high stress, long hours with minimal support from management. From a career standpoint you're better of with something else

nbrown · · western NC --> Broomfield, CO · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 6,362
webdog wrote:

It's EMS, the only positives are what you make of it. I've had the privilege of working with and meeting many hard working, intelligent people who really care about their pt's and pt care. That being said it's low pay, high stress, long hours with minimal support from management. From a career standpoint you're better of with something else

Twenty year medic here and I couldn't agree any more. 

Old lady H · · Boise, ID · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 708
Max Forbes wrote:

Thanks for the insight folks... does anyone have any positive expierences...?

My son is a newly hired first response EMT2, but he has had his EMT ticket for six years. During those years, he did a transport ambulance (astonishingly low pay) as a second job, and early on, was a volunteer for a mountain area ambulance service. Very few calls.

But, he has also got that same amount of time in with the local SAR. Those calls are the ones that have been really rewarding, even though they are few and far between.

Consider carefully what you want, and why you want it. You do have options!

Best, OLH

Dakota from North Dakota · · Golden, CO · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 1,002

My service does 48/96s and I've found that, provided I get some sleep on the second night, it leaves me plenty of time to travel, climb, and stay fit in the Front Range. It's just not so easy finding consistent partners when your schedule is changing week to week and rarely lines up with anyone else's. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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