How Are Fire Departments Dealing with the Paramedic Shortage
Despite a starting salary of around $50,000, Kentucky and Ohio are experiencing a shortage of paramedics. Within the next five year, the two states will need roughly 200 paramedics because due to retirees and the lack of interest of becoming a paramedic
In northern Kentucky, part-time paramedics have seen an increase in salaries and firefighters have started a college-level paramedic program to raise awareness and interest in becoming a paramedic.
In the private sector, paramedics have a choice of not becoming a firefighter which plays a significant role in the lack of paramedics in fire departments. Most fire departments are undergoing minimum staffing and have began recruiting from their paramedic classes and college-level programs.
Many hospitals are hiring paramedics to work in emergency rooms, with higher wages and benefits which has cause more workers to stray away from fire departments.
In attempt to calm the shortage of on employees, fire departments are forced to higher EMTs. EMTs have less training and less education than paramedics which means they must be trained once they are hired.
Fire departments are working alongside colleges and firefighters in order to recruit enough paramedics in the field. As fire departments experience higher rates of retirement, these tactics will essentially bring in more paramedics and diminish the shortage.