Overview of Volunteer EMT Program
Apr 4, 2015 | 9:00 am
There’s not many bigger ways to volunteer than becoming a volunteer EMT. Volunteer EMTs help departments meet patient demands and are a great way to gain job experience for those looking for a career in EMS. If you’re looking for a way to help the sick and injured in your community then find out what being a volunteer EMT is like.
How to Become One
All EMTs, volunteer or not, must have at least a basic EMS card that insures that they are capable enough to safely treat and transport patients. Other requirements are they must be fit enough to lift patients and be able to handle stress. Once a person gets their basic card, they can then apply at a local department as a volunteer and the department will see if there’s an opening for you. EMTs with more advanced cards may find it easier to find openings. Once accepted on the department, you’ll be issued your gear and informed of inner department polices for volunteers.
The Pros of Being a Volunteer
One of the big pros of being a volunteer is that you can usually decide about how many hours you want to put in and when. Volunteering is a great way you can gain experience while looking for work and keep your EMT skills sharp in between jobs. Oftentimes, volunteers will be able to find free classes as well as money off tuition for more advanced training. Of course, knowing you are helping your community in a way few can is a benefit in and of itself. You’ll become part of the family that is a fire department.
The Cons of Being a Volunteer
Usually, paid EMTs get first dibs on runs meaning that instead of going to the car accident or fire, you might be transporting a sick patient from a nursing home to the hospital. Departments may require a minimum amount of time from their volunteers and will require volunteers attend department meetings. Of course, all the cons of being an EMT apply even to volunteers. It’s a stressful and potently dangerous occupation and should not be taken lightly.
There are some departments in rural areas that are made up entirely by volunteers. This allows them to have quicker response time versus waiting on a paid department to get there. Volunteer departments have the benefit that everyone there is interested in helping the community and enjoys being an EMT, but they often lack the level of funding paid departments have and may not have as state-of-the-art equipment. If you find that there isn’t any openings at a paid department check to see if there is any volunteer departments in your area.
If you’re looking for an action packed way to help your community and have an interest in the science of medicine then being a volunteer EMT is probably right up your ally. Go out get EMS trained and volunteer! You’ll gain a lot of life experience and certainly will know you’re making a difference in people’s lives.