Joining UMass Lowell EMS
This page outlines what working at UMass Lowell EMS entails.
Regardless of what your certification is, you will need to fill out an application, be interviewed by the administrative staff, and then be hired into the position for which you have applied. The details are in the document below, or for more information click a link to jump to a section of it. You can also read a brief overview.
If you are a MA EMT-B:
You will start on a probational period that will last as long as our administrative staff deems necessary. This could be long or short depending on your effort, abilities, and past experience. There are no set restrictions as to what you can or can not do in this period, it will be something we decide on a case by case basis depending on how much your skills progress and our comfort level grows with you. (skip to "What it's like to be a UMass Lowell EMT")
If you are an out of state or nationally certified EMT-B:
Unfortunately, Massachusetts does not recognize any other certification but its own. Because of this, working as a Massachusetts EMT requires that you start from scratch. Depending on our current staffing and your past experience, we would place you as either a First Responder or a Cadet (read "First Responder" below).
If you are a First Responder:
You will need to express interest or be in the process of becoming a Massachusetts EMT-B (see “Becoming an EMT” below). It’s possible that you may still be placed on a truck, but that would depend on your abilities and dependability, and how close you are to becoming a Massachusetts EMT-B. This will be decided on a case by case basis by the administrative staff.
If you are none of the above, or have no experience at all:
You will need to express interest in becoming a Massachusetts EMT-B somewhere in the near future (ideally the semester following when you have applied, see “Becoming an EMT” below). You will need to be CPR certified at the Health Care Provider level (we provide this training at no cost to you, would normally cost about $80 elsewhere). After you get this CPR certification, you will be eligible to work cadet shifts where you do ride time with our EMTs. You will also have cadet meetings where you sharpen your skills or discuss ongoing issues or questions either in the field, in our organization, or in your EMT class.
What a cadet shift entails:
A cadet shift goes from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. You will carry a radio with you through which you will be dispatched to calls through UMass Lowell Police Department. You will respond to those calls, waiting in the lobby of the building for the EMTs on shift to arrive. How much you participate on the call depends on your abilities, experience, and the comfort that the senior EMT on shift has with you. Unlike an EMT, you are not allowed to miss classes for a call, and you can not respond in your personal vehicles. You are allowed to sleep and you are not required to stay with an EMT at all times, however, if a call is on a campus other than the one you are on, and you don’t beat the EMTs to their truck, they will not wait for you to show up. You will not be able to respond to that call.
If you are a commuter or you live on a different campus and want to be on the campus with the majority of the call volume (East), you may stay in our EMS office sleeping quarters, given that it is not being used by other EMTs. You are not allowed to consume alcohol or use drugs before or during your shift, and you may not be present at a party, liquor store, or bar that does not serve food in uniform. You receive no compensation for your shifts, as it is meant to be a learning experience.
Becoming an EMT:
UMass Lowell EMS does not directly train or certify you to become an EMT-B. However, we work very closely with the class that is taught at Middlesex Community College in Bedford. The class is a semester long and does not cost any money as long as you are a full-time UMass Lowell student. The class usually meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m., and three or four Saturdays throughout the semester from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a one-hour break. It is worth 6 general education credits toward your degree. This is made possible through the NECCUM program, which must be accompanied with the appropriate form to avoid charges and ensure the credit transfer.
To register for the course, you must go to the UMass Lowell Registrar’s office and ask for the NECCUM form. You must get the course information from the Middlesex course catalog (or any other school listed that may offer it), enter all of the information, and get it approved by your academic department. You must then return it to the home registrar (UMass Lowell) and bring it to the host registrar (Middlesex; Lowell or Bedford Campus). The Middlesex registrar’s office is located in the “City Building” in downtown Lowell.
You are able to take the class at other schools or over the summer, as long as it results in you becoming a state certified Massachusetts EMT-B. However we can not have the charges for that course waived.
Advantages of being a Cadet/First Responder with UMass Lowell EMS while taking the EMT-B course:
Most students enrolled in the Mass. EMT-B course have no other affiliation with an EMS organization. If you are involved in UMass Lowell EMS while taking the course, you will be able to get field experience while learning, practice the skills you learned in your class with the necessary equipment and help at your disposal, and clarify any questions you had from the class. We also save you money by certifying you in CPR for Health Care Providers at no cost to you (the EMT-B class usually charges around $80+). The EMT's in UMass Lowell EMS often attend practical skill nights at the class and help in teaching. When your state exam approaches, we will hold a practice session with you in order to prepare you sufficiently (as it is also in our best interest to have you pass). Being part of UMass Lowell EMS greatly improves your chances of passing the state exam.
What it’s like to be a UMass Lowell EMT:
UMass Lowell EMS covers all medical requests for the campus 24/7 during the regular academic year. This organization completely acknowledges that you are a student first, so whenever there is an academic conflict, school gets the priority. The day is divided into three shifts: 0700-1500, 1500-2300, and 2300-0700. While on call, you are required to be in uniform, in close proximity to your truck, on campus, and substance free. You are still able to live your normal life on campus including going to class, eating, doing homework, or sleeping. It is required however that when you are working a shift, you must be able to drop whatever you are doing as soon as you are dispatched to a call. It is because of this that we do not permit you to work during a test or lab. You are dispatched through the UMass Lowell Police Department via portable radio. The radio has a “tone” setting that allows it to be silent until dispatch calls for an EMT response. You have your own truck, and a partner who has a truck of their own. This allows for the two working EMTs to operate independently throughout the day when they are not needed for a call. You are required to do a full inspection of your truck and the medical gear inside of it at the start of each shift.
You are also expected to be at our weekly one-hour meetings. Again, academic conflicts always take precedence over our meetings.
You are compensated $20 for each shift that you work, keeping in mind that you can be earning this money while doing what you do on a normal basis throughout the day. Special detail coverage is also available at many points throughout the semester, paying $10 an hour for you to be present at events, sports games, shows, and concerts.
Continuing Education and additional certifications such as courses to become a CPR instructor are offered as necessary, as well as free CPR and driving courses to maintain your required certification.
For a more complete view of how we operate, please view our Standard Operating Procedures.
UMass Lowell EMS Application (pdf)
If you cannot open the file, you can request an application as a word document by e-mail.