Cons: management, disorganization
Sure, working as a paramedic on an Air Force base sounds high-speed, low-drag, but it isn't!
First off, if you do take the job, don't plan on keeping it for any length of time. I was promised a 3 year contract, only to get the ax not even one full year later! The contractors before me got the axe after 7 months! Bottom line, the USAF is in financial – more... turmoil, so have a back up plan. They are CLEANING HOUSE of civilian employees, especially contractors. There was a contractor that lived and breathed his department's job for the past 8 years, and he was let go.
You have no autonomy. You MUST call the base MD on every Pt you pick up and they will tell you what to do or not to do. You can make your recommendations, but ultimately it's the MD's call. And again, with the USAF being in financial turmoil, MDs are being pressured into bringing as many Pt's back to the base hospital as possible, even if it means another Tx to another more appropriate facility.
There is no oversight on the EMS side of the house. Sure, Pt care in the ED is your primary job, but no time or training is devoted to the EMS side... NONE whatsoever. Filthy (inside and out) ambulances, not properly stocked, EMS personnel not knowing how to get to where they're going (can't use GPS on base), staff not knowing SOPs, staff not knowing where anything is located at all inside the ambulance or the ED for that matter.
As a civilian, and especially as a contractor, you are an outsider. Sure, you'll be accepted as part of the team by fellow medics and techs, but as far as leadership is concerned, you are an untouchable. No chance for extra responsibilities, leadership roles no matter how knowledgeable you may be. They aren't receptive to any ideas from civilians. They will NOT keep your certifications up, they will NOT provide for your medical needs pertaining to the job (vaccinations, TB test, etc.) you are on your own!
They are making health insurance MANDATORY, even as a contractor. So if you're a young, healthy person that doesn't need health insurance, you need to get some. The company doesn't provide it for you since you're a contractor. So it's EXPENSIVE! and if you "opt out" of insurance, you automatically get signed up for whatever insurance company they decide to use, and once again, being a contractor position, it is EXPENSIVE!
Communication with Sterling was horrible. I never heard from them unless they needed something from me. Somehow they changed contract companies, and we were supposed to sign new contracts, I never signed anything. I think at one point, three of us were being paid by 2 separate companies. They were supposed to give 90 days notice to any change of contract, and we were given a month and a half. The 7 month contractors before us had their lives planned around this job, and from DAY ONE WPMC management knew that it would only be for 7 months and never told those contractors.
One good thing about the job was working with some good people most of the techs, RNs, MDs were pretty good, just watch out for the ones in leadership roles. Another good thing about the job was the schedule (four 10 hour shifts a week), but it sounds like it's changing to have contractors assigned to a shift on a Panama schedule. No overtime. Federal holidays off with 8 hours for holiday pay. You don't get furlough days as a contractor. Don't waste your money on buying see-through uniform t-shirts that are expensive and take too long to get because they order to Florida for some reason.
If your contract does get the axe by USAF, they're not allowed to tell you. It's up to your contract company to tell you, so it could be days, weeks, months before you find out.
If you do take this job, always have a back up plan! – less