Be a Firefighter >> Browse Articles >> 5 Steps to Becoming a Paramedic


Step 4: Preparing for the Job

Step 4: Preparing for the Job

Okay, you got hired…now what? Well, that depends on the type of job.

If you are going to be a fire based medic, you will probably have to go through the fire academy for up to 12 weeks. One of the conditions of hiring being hired was probably a pretty strict physical, back-ground examination as well as having to pass the (Candidate Physical Agility Test) CPAT, a strenuous test designed to see if you meet the minimum standards for firefighting.

Even if you did not have to go through these requirements, be prepared to undergo some form of physical evaluation to work in a fire-based system. Being a paramedic is a strenuous job and you’ll be doing quite a bit of physical exertion, so it’s important to be in shape, and more importantly to stay in shape. You should be able, with a partner, to lift a 180 lb person and bring them down three flights of stairs as well as load the stretcher into an ambulance.

Even non-fire based EMS services will have physical requirements of varying degrees. One other thing you can count on is an internship where you will learn the local medical protocols, be tested on your ability to manage patient care in various situations and learn the "lay of the land” so to speak.

Step 5: What to Expect Your First Year