“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”
– Richard Bach
In this episode, Chris Baker sits down with Rescue Captain, Justin Schorr, "the Happy Medic" to talk about what he's learned over the last 25 years in the fire service and why one of the worst pieces of advice is "get your Medic." While obtaining the license will get you on a smaller list when hired, there's a catch, they want you to work as a medic when you get hired. Find out more about what EMS means to the Future Firefighter and listen to this episode.
"Should every Future Firefighter become a Paramedic? In one word, Yes. EMS is the future of the Modern Fire Service so each candidate should have a grasp on their place in the system as they get hired. Paramedicine isn't for everyone. There's a lot of stress involved in not only obtaining the license, but maintaining it and, of course, being responsible for the care of your patients." (Schorr)
"When you get hired as a Paramedic, here's a hint...they need you as a Paramedic." (Schorr)
"In most departments, 70-80% of the calls for service are medical in nature, and if you add motor vehicle calls, instead of vehicle extrication and or vehicle fires, you are approaching 90%. Almost 90% of what firefighters are doing, is helping people without even touching anything on the engine, except an EMS kit." (Schorr)
"The best advice I ever got. They are going to make you jump through a lot of hoops that I can't even imagine. The best advice, I can give you is to jump through them." (Schorr / Orange County Fire Captain)
"I would encourage candidates to look towards the future and the future is what are we going to do, in our downtime between fires? Providing medical care for most jurisdictions is the biggest thing to do." (Schorr)
"I want you to want to be a paramedic. The trick about becoming a paramedic to get hired with the fire department, once you get hired, they want you to be a good paramedic. It is not just getting through the door and making the short stack of applications. They need you to be a functioning paramedic." (Schorr)
I didn't want to go to EMT school until I realized when the ambulance transported, I was the only help people had, and I thought people deserved better." (Schorr)
(According to Rescue Captain Justin Schorr)
Top 10 things to do that increase your odds of getting a job. (Not in any specific order).
What’s Your EMERGENCY? The Podcast that responds to all emergencies on, and off, the job
Bach, R. (2001). Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah. London: Cornerstone.
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Justin Schorr is a Rescue Captain in San Francisco California, having served as a field Paramedic and Firefighter, Field Captain, Administrative Captain (CQI) and is ARFF qualified, currently overseeing EMS response for San Francisco International Airport. He has spent 25 years in the fire service and is experienced in rural, suburban, and urban firefighting and paramedicine.
Chris Baker, has over thirteen years of experience in volunteer, combination, and career, fire departments in California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology and Associates of Science Degree in Fire Service Command, Company Officer. Chris is a California State Fire Training certified Fire Officer, Driver-Operator, Fire Instructor, and Lead Firefighter I Certification Evaluator. He has over nine years of teaching experience as an Adjunct Instructor in the EMS discipline, Firefighter 1 Academy Instructor, and Fire Science Instructor in the California Community Colleges System. Chris is a member of the California Fire Technology Directors’ Association and the California Training Officers Association. He served as a volunteer Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response Grants (SAFER) for both hiring and recruitment/retention. Chris also served as a Peer Reviewer on the FY 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) and the FY 2018 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG). He is a Volunteer Advocate Regional Manager, Region IX (CA, NV, AZ, HI) for the Everyone Goes Home Program through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. Chris also serves as a volunteer member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section serving in their staging area. He was a member of the 2018 and 2019 Safety Stand Down committees. Chris is a member of the Board of Directors and Public Information Officer (PIO) for the National Fire Heritage Center located in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He is a National Fire Service Instructor teaching at notable fire conferences across the country including the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) International. Chris is the co-host of the Fire Engineering: The Future Firefighter Podcast, and he writes blog articles published through Firefighter Nation and the Fire Engineering Training Community on mentoring the future generations of the fire service.