As far as pay incentives, consider that the paramedic cert is not merely an add-on specialty such as TROT, Hazmat, and such. Our Hazmat school is two weeks long, or 80 hours. You can promote to Technician off of that. For Apparatus Tech, you only need to know how to pump, drive, know your way around the engine, and pass the exam. EMS can and is a career in it's own right in many places. Compensating the same as a TROT cert (training around the year, but it equals around six FT weeks if you add it up, IIRC), or as an A-Tech or HM-Tech is not adequate for the amount of education, training, hundreds of hours of (uncompensated) ride alongs and hospital rotations, not to mention the continuing education requirements, and let's not forget that the paramedic also uses their education and training on a regular basis, numerous times a day in a busy system. Take the example of the engine medic. They're supposed to be on the bus half the time, and on the engine half the time, until they can promote out of the position. On the engine, they're still an ALS provider. On the ambulance, they may need to do rehab in the fire building on an high rise, or perhaps get dressed to pull a line or function as RIT in the event of delayed units. A decent salary for a fairly new medic is around 50k/yr in NOVA or NYC. I'm getting an additional 25k or so a year on top of the FF job. That's half of a single role medic's salary, and I'm on an engine half the time. That seems like fair compensation to me.