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HS-HEALTH SERVICES TECHNICIAN
Last Post 06 Dec 2018 05:31 AM by mkelly. 130 Replies.
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SpuddStudUser is Offline
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30 Nov 2012 04:05 PM
I could be wrong, but I believe I read that HS cannot be armed while at the same time performing HS duties.  Something to do with the Geneva Convention I think.  Might be why most front-line infantry now go through Combat Life Saving classes.  I considered being HS but then found out that I probably would not be allowed to participate in boardings.  Where's the fun in that?
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10 Jul 2013 05:28 PM
Hello,

On the show Coast Guard Florida / Alaska (I can't remember exactly which one it was), there was a scene of a helo flying to rescue an injured man, the helo had a HST on board. My question is, how likely is it to be able to fly with helos if you select HST? Thank you.
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10 Jul 2013 06:38 PM
Slim, slim, slim. They are generally not on flights. I believe I saw that episode, I don't necessarily like the show so I only half paid attention. I know there was a million and one stars that aligned that she got on the flight. It was Kodiak and she came over from the Rockmore King Clinic on base. The other to consider most places with HS's aren't near AirSta's, most AirSta's aren't near medical clinics. You see the conundrum.
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12 Jul 2013 02:22 PM
Thanks for the reply.

I'm guessing that the rescue swimmers provide the first aid.

I'm also guessing then from your reply that these shows aren't always realistic...
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12 Jul 2013 02:34 PM
The shows are realistic, but only show a very small picture of what's involved in CG operations.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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12 Jul 2013 03:41 PM
What gears said. Just don't like how it focuses on one aspect, to hell with the rest.
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13 Jul 2013 10:40 AM
Out of all the rescue helos I've worked with in 2 years, I think we may have 2 that had an HS on board (1 of those was the one you saw on the show), and Kodiak sends them up "more that most places" because we have the clinic and the airsta in the same place. I talked to a guy at one point whose wife was an HS and she was trying to stay in Sitka because it was one of two units in the CG with "flying HSs". Alaska is a weird bird when it comes to those things because the AOR is so huge with very few hospitals in all of it.

So, just to echo everyone else, I won't count on ever getting to fly in your career unless the stars align just right. What usually happens is the ASTs do their thing while getting instruction from a flight surgeon on the ground if necessary.
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11 Aug 2013 01:13 PM
Hello Everyone,

I'm very interested in the HS field and have a couple quick questions. First, as a non-rate is it possible to “strike” into the HS rate? Second, if so what avenue would have the best opportunity to do so? I’m thinking in terms of going to a specific station or cutter. And third, if it’s not possible at all, which option would at least give me the most opportunity for working with other HS members? Any and all thoughts on this subject are greatly appreciated.
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11 Aug 2013 02:08 PM
You cannot strike HS. The only strikable rates are BM and MK I believe, but I'm sure someone will be along to clarify that for certain and give you some more information in regards to the rest of your question. However, I do know for a fact you cannot strike HS.
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11 Aug 2013 02:47 PM
Large cutters and Sectors has HSs. As a nonrate you won't be working for them.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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11 Aug 2013 10:17 PM
Posted By FloridaGirl on 13 Jul 2013 11:40 AM
Out of all the rescue helos I've worked with in 2 years, I think we may have 2 that had an HS on board (1 of those was the one you saw on the show), and Kodiak sends them up "more that most places" because we have the clinic and the airsta in the same place. I talked to a guy at one point whose wife was an HS and she was trying to stay in Sitka because it was one of two units in the CG with "flying HSs". Alaska is a weird bird when it comes to those things because the AOR is so huge with very few hospitals in all of it.

So, just to echo everyone else, I won't count on ever getting to fly in your career unless the stars align just right. What usually happens is the ASTs do their thing while getting instruction from a flight surgeon on the ground if necessary.

Having been stationed in Sitka I can say that HS's flew there to supplement the AST rotation.  Also anyone, regardless of rating, can supplement the ASTs.  If you have been to EMT school, you can complete the PQS and become qualified to fly.  It is rare but I have seen people sent to EMT school for that very purpose.
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11 Aug 2013 10:38 PM
You can strike BM, MK, SK, and DC. And FS.

You would want to request a job at medical. At a ship you could talk to your command about working with the HSs and Doc. It could be on your off time but its better than nothing.
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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12 Aug 2013 02:40 PM
Bells, when you say, "request a job at medical", are you refering to my "dream sheet" request?? And are there specific medical stations available? I definitely appreciate all the input, thank you everyone.
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12 Aug 2013 03:17 PM
She means if you have Corpsman at your unit ask your command if you can work alongside them. You can't request a job in medical.
“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” ― Bruce Lee
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12 Aug 2013 03:58 PM
Hmmm, probably what happend is if u end up at a big sector, and you show interest in HS, your command might be able to put you inside the clinic. The nonrates there mostly answer phones and schedule appointments but at least you are in the environment. Other than that larger cutters would be your best bet until you get to a-school
Take what you like and leave the rest behind.
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12 Aug 2013 06:26 PM
I had 6 years of being an EMT in one of the worst cities in California, when I first reported to my 210 as a non-rate they got wind of that and they stuck me with the HS in BDS for every ship board emergency. There were multiple times I got out of silly deck work. I'm not sure how a 270 or the other large cutters have their sick bays but the HS loved having a extra hand while underway.


JB- when were you in Sitka? Never heard of "supplementing" us AST's. Not even sure how this is possible with the Tango vision at all the 60 units. Either way, I would like to hear more about this. With all this Striking talk... I was told in my Airman Program if I could climb a 50ft rope with my legs only and no arms I could strike AST... I chose the A-School route.
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12 Aug 2013 07:17 PM
To have the rescue swimmer qualification you have to be a nationally registered EMT. As an EMT at an air station, the flight surgeon is allowing you to operate under his license. Its more cost effective to have an AST or somebody who already has their NREMT and BA Qual to fly on flights that need medical attention rather then send somebody else to EMT school and then train them to be Basic Aircrew. Technically everybody supplements everybody while on a flight. Together, we complete the aircrew. Jerry Maguire said it best. "You complete me" So yeah Lance, If somebody has been trained as a BA they can supplement the AST on a flight. Shoot, another survivor can supplement the AST on a flight. "Throw some gloves on and put pressure on this bandage". Supplemented.
On a side note, I'd like to see somebody climb the rope with just their legs.
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13 Aug 2013 11:00 AM
Posted By FloridaGirl on 13 Jul 2013 11:40 AM
Out of all the rescue helos I've worked with in 2 years, I think we may have 2 that had an HS on board (1 of those was the one you saw on the show), and Kodiak sends them up "more that most places" because we have the clinic and the airsta in the same place. I talked to a guy at one point whose wife was an HS and she was trying to stay in Sitka because it was one of two units in the CG with "flying HSs". Alaska is a weird bird when it comes to those things because the AOR is so huge with very few hospitals in all of it.

So, just to echo everyone else, I won't count on ever getting to fly in your career unless the stars align just right. What usually happens is the ASTs do their thing while getting instruction from a flight surgeon on the ground if necessary.


We actually have more than just two clinics that have AMS HS's.

Take for instance Air Station Astoria. We have a clinic right on the base and its an option we allow HS's to pursue. They can either pursue AMS and earn flight pay or not. It is up to them. When there is a medivac the flight PA, flight surgeon or AMS HS goes.  This is how it has been for some time. Of course it will be up to the SMO of the clinic to let you fly as an HS. This is Coast Guard wide not just Astoria. Also keep in mind for an HS to be AMS qualified, not only do they have to be EMT-B but they also have to have a current ACLS card.

That being said depending on your skill level and confidence as an HS in the AMS realm, you could fly once a month or once every couple of months, not "if the stars align just right." You also have to maintain a certain number of hours to earn your flight pay. Trust me the LCPO of the Air Station will be contacting you to get your hours. Otherwise you loose that extra pay.
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15 Sep 2013 08:35 AM
I was an HS in 1995. It has paid dividends in the real world although it at times was a battle. I have no regrets about my choice and the training you'll get is second to none. Anyone chasing an HS "A" school cert. is destined for success.
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15 Sep 2013 08:38 AM
HS is ALL about blood, either in a tube or on the ground.  You'll have to think about your reservations.
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12 Feb 2014 11:13 PM
I'm a nationally registered Paramedic, how does this compare to the HS scope of practice? Also, I understand that many AST's are EMT's, are any of them Paramedics too?

I'm going for AST and I'm hoping that I'll be able to use my Paramedic training, especially if there are medics working in the rate. Thanks in advance!
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19 Feb 2014 03:46 PM
As a AST we have to hold a minimum of EMT-B. Your paramedic skills will be used A LOT more as a AST. There's a handful of ASTs that are paramedics. I have only seen one HS that's a paramedic.

HS are all EMT-b with IV training. Think of it as more hospital care. Then prehospital care.
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21 Feb 2014 12:28 AM
That's what I thought. I love EMS so I want to be able to use my skills in the Coast Guard, I'm glad I'll be able to use them as an AST.
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21 Apr 2014 10:54 AM
Is it true that the wait for hs a school is around 4 years
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21 Apr 2014 01:06 PM
If you look in the FAQ section, you will find the A School list and that will tell you the expected wait time for A School. HS currently shows at "more than 36 months". They are also taking rather large classes for the next 2, 30A/d and 28 A/D. However, with 202 people currently on the list, it will take a while to get through it.

If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for.
Sector NY, Staten Island
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23 Jul 2014 12:58 PM
I recently got my orders to Aschool and my husband is going to move out to Petaluma for the six months I'm there and I was just wondering if anyone has some good information on places he could rent for such a short amount of time? Thanks!
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13 Mar 2015 08:02 PM
I will be graduating as a national level paramedic in 2 months. I plan to go the AST route to gain experience and increase my chances as a flight paramedic in the future as a civilian.

Will the coast guard allow me to maintain a paramedic certification? For those of you that aren't familier with this, maintaining a paramedic cert costs time and a lot of effort. So I guess the question is, will the coast guard be at all interested in me maintaining it (refresher every 2 years), will I have to do it on my own time, will I have enough of my own time for continuing education that the USCG may not even be interested in using?

I'm trying not to repeat previous questions, I know that ASTs are EMT-Basics, and I know that there are some that have a paramedic level cert, but do they use it? with AST being a BLS provider, can you legally even operate as an ALS provider? Or should I be looking into HS rating for such experience.
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14 Mar 2015 11:16 AM
AST's have all transitioned to EMT now. As an AST you are practicing under the medical license of the flight surgeon at your unit. It is up to that flight surgeon if he wants to let you practice as a paramedic. The other issue with that is where will you get all the gear to practice as a paramedic? Do you want the Coast Guard to buy new gear for you? Will you be on a 60 or 65? If you're on a 65, where will the extra gear fit? How much does it weigh? You will most likely have to cover the cost of your paramedic CEU's. We do our own CEU's for EMT and the recent is covered by the Coast Guard. If there is any extra stuff for paramedic, you'll probably have to get that done on your own time. They might give you permissive orders but it'll be on your own time most likely. Another thing to think about is if you're going to be an AST and a paramedic, probably about 1% of your time will be spent doing paramedic duties depending on the unit. You will not get much practice as a paramedic if you're standing duty as an AST.
Out of the cases I have had as an AST, maybe 1 of them would have used paramedic skills but we ended up bringing a nurse so I guess it doesn't really matter.
All that being said, paramedic skills will most likely be used more as an AST than an HS throughout a career.
The Coast Guard isn't going to keep you from maintaining your paramedic certification, but it just might not be practical for you to use it all the time. You can pick up an extra shift with an ambulance company nearby if the command allows. You might use paramedic skills more up in Alaska or maybe the gulf where you are doing more medevacs but you just never know.

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18 Mar 2015 12:26 PM
Okay, so in that aspect, it's similar to the civilian side of emergency medicine. Typically for us, the medical director is an Emergency Room physician, whereas the USCG uses one of their own flight surgeons. 
However, you don't necessarily need additional gear to perform advanced skills. For the most part, the level of knowledge and skills to recognize early the onset of specific emergencies is the paramedic's most useful tool. The difference between an EMT and Paramedic is, can I do something about it now? As an EMT, you are trained to never deviate from protocol, as opposed to Paramedics, who are trained to differential diagnose, then adjust and justify your treatment.
Also, somebody suggested earlier that ASTs are EMTs who are trained on IVs, do you know if that's true? I mean, it's definitely a huge step towards IV therapy with warmed fluids. That alone is the most effective way to treat hypothermia and shock.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that medicine is not the mission, it's not your primary function. I'm new to the military side of things, and to say it intrigues me is a HUGE understatement.

On the other hand, I spent 2 years and a lot of money to obtain a paramedic license, and it would be a shame to have to let it go, and then go through it all again. That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to do it if I was told to, just hoping there is a way around it.
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18 Mar 2015 07:24 PM
Your biggest issue would be getting a Flight Surgeon to allow you to to do ALS and I've only heard of it not happening one time. The Swimmers up in Sitka are EMT-I (now advance EMT's) and have a larger scope w/ IV's, advance airway etc. I do see IV's coming into the EMT-B scope one day and/or the CG allowing Swimmers to start lines... one day... If you really want to practice medicine you might wanna go for a Flight Medic gig. Trust me, Im all about the medical side of our job, and was a EMT-I before I joined, I lapsed while I was a non-rate and now I'm a EMT-B. There have been 1 case and a couple of MEDEVACS that I wished I could start a line and get fluids in them but the majority of rescues we have are all about getting the survivor higher level of care as fast as we can, its just is what it is. I have heard that once you are NREMT-P your license will go into a "Military hold" if you are not practicing at that level and all you'll need is a medic refresher coarse to get out of that hold, again its what I heard from a Swimmer who is set to retire this June and has been a medic for 18 years. Get into the CG, make it through Swimmer school and I'll get you in touch with the guys that are paramedics.
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