EMS Careers FAQ

What is MedStar?

MedStar Mobile Healthcare, or MedStar, is the trade name of the Metropolitan Area EMS Authority. We are the exclusive 9-1-1 provider for the City of Fort Worth and the client cities of Blue Mound, Burleson, Edgecliff, Forest Hill, Haltom City, Haslet, Lakeside, Lake Worth, River Oaks, Sansom Park, Saginaw, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, and White Settlement. Our system is the 17th largest in the nation, with an annual operating budget in excess of $28 million. We also provide interfacility ground transportation, local non-emergent response, Rodeo Team, and special event EMS for the annual Stock Show and Rodeo, NASCAR/IRL races, and concerts.

What is the size and scope of the MedStar EMS system?

The MedStar service area is a mix of rural and urban response challenges, comprised of over 421 square miles with a population of approximately 860,000. MedStar responded to over 96,000 emergency and non-emergency calls in 2009, 95.8% of these were emergency calls. Currently, MedStar employs a diverse work force of over 325 employees.

What is EMS?

EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services. EMS provides medical care outside of the hospital or medical office setting. Most often, people call EMS when they have had an accident or are experiencing a medical emergency. Emergencies might include heart attack, difficulty breathing, falls, accidents, drowning, cardiac arrest, stroke, drug overdose, and acute illnesses. EMS services may provide both basic and advanced medical care at the scene of an emergency and en route to a hospital.

What is an EMS system?

EMS is much more than an ambulance service. The delivery of emergency medical care is made up of many parts, together which are called the EMS system. The EMS system includes the call center that receives the call for and dispatches help, those who respond first (such as police officers and firefighters), an ambulance transportation team of EMTs and/or paramedics, physicians and nurses who provide advice via radio or phone, air medical services (helicopters and small airplanes), hospital receiving facilities, and governmental and medical oversight.

What are the training levels of EMS responders in Texas?

EMT – Emergency Medical Technician – Must demonstrate competency handling emergencies utilizing all Basic Life Support equipment and skills in accordance with all behavioral objectives in the DOT/EMT-Basic curriculum and the FEMA document entitled “Recognizing and Identifying Hazardous Materials”. EMT 1994 curriculum includes objectives pertaining to the use of the pneumatic anti-shock garment, automated external defibrillator, epinephrine auto-injector, and inhaler bronchodilators.

EMT-P – Paramedic – Must demonstrate competency handling emergencies utilizing all Basic and Advanced Life Support equipment and skills in accordance with all behavioral objectives in the DOT/EMT-Basic, EMT-I curriculum, and the EMT-P curriculum. The EMT-P has reached the highest level of pre-hospital certification.

Advanced Practice Paramedic – Must meet all criteria for an EMT-P and additionally be certified as a Critical Care Paramedic. APPs must demonstrate competency in concepts and applications of critical care transport, as well as advanced skills such as hypothermia resuscitation, grief counseling, behavioral crisis management, and community-based health care networks.

MedStar staffs all of its ambulances with at least one Paramedic and normally one EMT. The training level of responders is a local decision and based upon local resources and the priorities of those who fund the EMS system. Each of these levels of EMS responders is trained to perform different kinds of skills to assist the patient. In the MedStar System, 100% of our vehicles are staffed to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS).

How can I get a job in EMS?

MedStar offers training to qualified applicants. The first step you must take to work in EMS is to take courses to become a Basic-level Emergency Medical Technician. This is the minimum level of education that most EMS professionals have before entering the workforce.

How long is EMS training?

EMT training varies from two to six months, depending on the training site and hours of class scheduled per week. Some training programs have class every day for a couple of months for those interested in getting done quickly, while other, longer programs accommodate those students who have family, a full-time job, or other responsibilities that limit their time available for education.

Approximate training requirements are:

An EMT must be proficient in CPR, and training is centered on recognizing and treating life-threatening emergencies outside the hospital environment.

An EMT learns the basics in how to handle cardiac and respiratory arrest, heart attacks, seizures, diabetic emergencies, respiratory problems, and other medical emergencies. He or she also learns how to manage traumatic injuries such as falls, fractures, lacerations, and burns.

An EMT is also introduced into patient assessment, history taking, and vital signs.

What should I do if I am currently certified as an EMT or Paramedic in another state other than Texas?

You will need to be certified by the state of Texas to work at MedStar. You will need to complete the reciprocity process through the state of Texas in order to obtain certification. This process involves multiple steps and can take up to 12 weeks to complete, so it is best to get started immediately. Please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/emstraumasystems/stdrecip.shtm for more information on how to begin the process.