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Career Profile: Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic - Darryl Lowery

Career Profile: Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic - Darryl Lowery

Darryl Lowery, Emergency Medical Technician, National Institutes of Health Fire Department, NIH, Bethesda, MD

National Institutes of Health: Office of Science Education

I chose this career because…

I chose to become an emergency medical technician because of a great volunteer experience. When I was 16, I volunteered at the local fire department along with three of my best friends from high school. Early on, I took the necessary classes and became certified in cardiovascular pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and advanced first aid. I continued working there while I finished high school. Many times I would go to the firehouse after school on Friday and stay there most of the weekend through Sunday. We had a lot of fun.

After high school, I began to take emergency medical services courses at the University of Maryland. In a few years, I completed 144 classroom hours and 20 hours of clinical training through the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI) program at College Park, Maryland. They are one of the largest fire and rescue training groups on the east coast. After completing the training, I sat for and passed the state certification test. It is necessary to recertify every 3 years, by taking a refresher course and another test.

To advance your medical career, you can complete increasing levels of training and certification. Each level requires completion of perquisite coursework and clinical training. In addition, individuals at each level must complete a certain number of hours of continuing education each year. In Maryland the increasing career levels include:

More on EMTs & Paramedics

Salary: $17,300 - $45,280
Min. Education: Diploma, Associate's, Bachelor's
Related Careers: Physician Assistant, Registered Nurse

• Emergency Medical Technician Basic (EMT-B)
• Emergency Medical Technician Intermediate (EMT-I)
• Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic (EMT-P)

Emergency Medical Technician basic and firefighter certification, Emergency Services Field Program, Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland

My typical workday involves…

My typical workday begins with roll call at 7:00 a.m. We get assignments and discuss our positions or roles for the day. For example, we decide who will be the driver of various vehicles. There are usually 2 people per ambulance or other emergency vehicle. We work a 72 hour work shift, that is, 24 hours on-duty, followed by 24 hours off-duty, and a final 24 hours on-duty, for a total of 72 hours per week. If understaffed, we may work more hours.

A Typical Workday Schedule

7:00 a.m.

• Answer roll call
• Receive assignments
• Inventory equipment and supplies
• Ensure equipment is functioning properly
• Clean firehouse

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