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Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007 | Michael Howland makes an assertion in his letter to the editor that the recent lack of applicants for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is due to the requirement that an applicant be an EMT. Mr. Howland has made several factual errors in his letter.

He states that an EMT-1 is a higher level of training than an EMT-B. This is not true. They are the same level. Perhaps he has confused EMT-1 with EMT-I, or Intermediate. An EMT-1 license requires a one semester, three unit class. A total of 160 hours of training.

Many other area fire departments require applicants to be paramedics. This requires about 900 hours of training on the applicant’s own time. So the San Diego requirement is quite a bit less.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is “working smarter” by not having to pay new employees an extra month’s salary. Would Mr. Howland not want a minimal test of dedication be given to prospective applicants?

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