Do I need to have all of the “Required Education and Experiences” to be hired?
Yes, with the exception of the experience requirement for otherwise highly qualified applicants, all other items must be obtained prior to accepting an employment offer from SEMS.
If I am licensed in another state, will you still hire me?
Yes. We will require you to obtain a license to practice in Maryland prior to your first shift at SEMS. Both the Washington County Division of Emergency Services (DES) and SEMS have individual clearance processes based on clinical competence. Applicants will be expected to obtain clearance by both organizations in order to function independently.
I have a criminal history. Will you consider me for employment?
In general, due to the sensitive nature of the job, those applicants with a felony history will not be considered. Misdemeanor offenses must be disclosed at the time of application and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Is there a background check?
Yes, those individuals who are given conditional offers of employment will receive a full background check to include federal, state, and local offenses.
I have a previous DUI/DWI. Can I still be considered for employment?
Emergency medical services professionals are often subjected to calls for service where alcohol has caused severe injury and harm to our patients, often at the hands of another driver. Many of our professionals cannot count the number of families and lives that have been destroyed due to drunk driving. Additionally, you will be placed in a position to counsel and advise teens and other young adults on the appropriate use of alcohol and prescription drugs.
Individuals with recent DUI/DWI will not be considered for employment. As with many things in life, time can sometimes offer perspective. Individuals with DUI/DWI in their distant past may consider applying. Clearance with the Washington County Risk Management Office will be required before receiving a conditional offer of employment.
If I have a history of drug use, may I apply?
EMS personnel in Maryland are not subjected to lie detection screening; however, we do expect full disclosure. Failure to disclose previous drug use during your application will result in termination should credible information be obtained at a later date. SEMS participates in randomized drug screenings, along with screenings post-accident and during any investigation of discrepancies regarding controlled substances.
Do I have to have many of the "Preferred Education and Experiences" to be hired?
Not necessarily. Given a pool of applicants, generally those who possess the best combination of these qualities will be considered first. Additionally, pay is commensurate with experience and education. Our paramedics and EMTs command a wide variety of pay and salaries, mostly because of the factors listed in this section. Applicants are subject to the standard pay scales set under agreement by the Washington County EMS Master Plan. Your individual interview will also play a large role in how and if you are hired. Arrive professionally dressed and prepared to answer questions. Applicants whose personalities and work ethic meet our expectations often have a leg up on the most pedigreed paramedic.
I've heard SEMS places a large emphasis on education, is this true?
Yes, this is true. Smithsburg EMS believes that true clinical competence comes from a breadth of educational experiences, both formal and informal. It has been the experience of our department that individuals who have spent their own time seeking formal education generally turn out to be better qualified. In particular, quality assurance at SEMS is based on identifying deficits in clinical understanding. Particularly for our paramedics, it is expected that you will have a firm grasp of the pathophysiology and disease pathways for which you are treating. It is expected that you will have the educational background to properly read and evaluate articles in a peer-reviewed journal. EMS is a rapidly changing field and we expect to retain applicants who can quickly and independently stay attuned to progress, adapt it into their practice, and utilize this information to best serve their patients. Perhaps most importantly, SEMS believes in the independence and self-governance of EMS professionals. This comes through professional recognition, often after educational attainment at the collegiate level.
Simply put, we want individuals who can interact with medical direction in an intelligent and thoughtful way. Do we employ individuals without formal post-secondary education? Absolutely. Some of our very best paramedics and EMTs obtained their education and experience in a variety of settings outside of a regionally accredited university or college. There are many ways to make a great prehospital professional. Also, with the approval of the Operations Director, SEMS can provide funds to employees who engage in continuing education outside of work.
What does SEMS define as an EMS focused system for the purposes of "preferred experience and education"?
Very simply, SEMS is interested in employing individuals whose full interest is focused on providing quality prehospital emergency care. We understand that many applicants may work currently, or have worked in the past, for EMS services that also engage in fire suppression activities. Please understand that SEMS is an EMS-only department. While it is true that many of our staff are cross-trained in a variety of rescue and fire suppression duties, it is by no means the focus of the department. Structural firefighting gear is not typically issued to employees, nor does the department financially sponsor structural firefighting training. Firefighter or Rescue Technician training is seen as a plus during the employment process, but not expected. Only individuals properly trained and equipped would be expected to perform life safety rescue duties during a working fire. Work experience in a “fire-based EMS system” will not preclude an applicant for qualifying under the definition, but all applicants will have to demonstrate a history of duties and assignments specific to EMS functions.
What type of previous work experience does SEMS prefer?
SEMS places preference on individuals who have worked closely with volunteers. Volunteers still provide a large part of the services at SEMS, including driver/EMT coverage and second due/duty ALS response. Applicants who cannot work well with volunteers will not be retained. Additionally, we seek individuals who have worked in the type of environments that foster the creation of a good paramedic or EMT. This will include EMS systems with sole paramedic response and those with mentoring programs, collaborative EMS physician relationships, and clinically sophisticated protocols.
Who supervises me at SEMS?
The Operations Director will provide direct supervision of operational issues, including daily duties, quality assurance, and employee-to-employee conflicts. Human resources, scheduling, and other issues are handled by the Operations Director and administrative assistants. All employees serve at the pleasure of the Board of Directors and employment is at will. Day to day supervision may occur from any of the seven chief or line officers, with authority granted under the corporate by-laws.
What type of equipment does SEMS have?
SEMS currently uses the following equipment:
- Lifepak 15 monitor/defibrillators. Include 12-Lead ECG w/ transmission and e-PCR integration, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, EtCO2, esophageal temperature monitoring, biphasic defibrillator, cardioversion, and transcutaneous pacing.
- LUCAS II Chest Compression System. The department currently has three of these devices in service.
- EZ-IO intraosseous access system.
- CPAPos by Port2Vent.
- Iron Duck bags and equipment.
- Stryker Power Stretchers and advanced stair chairs.
- Three Horton ALS equipped ambulances.
- Two new 2012 2400 Chevy Suburban ALS chase vehicles complete with all LED light package and new Howler sirens. One 2013 Interceptor Utility.
Why should I work for Smithsburg EMS?
If you want to work at a great place with supportive people and advanced equipment, then look no further. SEMS prides itself in the collaborative and collegial culture of our department, particularly between supervisors and employees. The station has a relaxing atmosphere, focused on providing excellent care, all of the time, no matter what. Additionally, because of the department’s focus on education, it’s a great place for those looking to further their education while working part-time. Full-time employees are almost always hired from within the department and enjoy excellent full-time benefits, including a generous 401 (k) match, three weeks of paid vacation (with accrual), two weeks of paid sick time, sick time accrual, short term disability, life insurance, and health/dental/vision insurance.
Is it true that Smithsburg EMS is pet friendly?
Yes - SEMS is a dog friendly workplace (no cats, reptiles, or birds please). Employees may, with previous approval of the Operations Director, elect to occasionally bring their dog to work. This policy is breed specific (no historically violent breeds) and will require evaluation of temperament. No animals are allowed in the bay, near patient care areas (ambulances), or on furniture.
Employees are responsible for providing:
- Records of vaccinations, including current rabies vaccine.
- A yearly physical.
- Fecal test, blood analysis, and monthly heart worm medication as prescribed by their veterinarian.
- All dogs must have commercial grade, seasonal Frontline or Advantage flea and tick killer due to the endemic tick population in Washington County.
- All dogs must be registered and licensed with the employee's jurisdiction or residence, as per the Washington County Animal Control Ordinance.
Research has clearly established animals, particularly dogs, as important relievers of stress. Due to the sometimes graphic and disturbing nature of our profession, what better way to come home than to a wagging tale and happy face? All of our dogs are seen as members of the family and are treated with the same respect and dignity as their human counterparts.
What is the schedule like? What type of availability does SEMS expect I provide?
In general, part-time personnel work at the pleasure of the department. Employees generally work a minimum of eight hours. ALS personnel most commonly work 12, 16, and 24-hour shifts. BLS personnel will always work a 12-hour shift, but in some circumstances may be offered 24-hour work should the shift demand it. In compliance with the Washington County EMS Master Plan, no employee may work more than 48 hours consecutively without previous approval of administration. When working overnights, employees are permitted to use the bunkroom facilities to sleep. Be aware that providers do not “time out” and are not provided relief from duties, except during exigent circumstances (injury, sickness, family related emergencies, exposure, or heinously stressful incidents). You are expected to come to work prepared to work.
Availability is expected to be reasonable. SEMS does not typically accommodate staff who provide strange or unreasonable hours. Shifts typically start at 0700, 1500, and 2300 hours. Generous availability will ensure that you receive the most hours. Allotment of part-time hours is based on seniority and compliance with policies. Our best performing paramedics and EMTs, as determined by biannual evaluations, will generally receive preference during scheduling. Full-time personnel do not have a rotating schedule and, like their part-time counterparts, work at the pleasure of the department. Unlike part-time employees, preference is given to full-time employees when determining the schedule. Availability for the next month is due at 2000 hours the 5th of every month.