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  1. #21
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    You know, this thread is kind of funny. Let me tell you my problem.

    There is "such a shortage on medics" here in Tennessee...then why can't I get a PT job as a medic?

    Explain that one to me.

    Matt
    NREMT-P


  2. #22
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    Default I don't live there but,

    It is probably because they want to have full time people so they don't have to split up shifts. For the most part where I wor they want people that work as needed instaed of p/t. That way tou can sign up for a full shift instead of cutting one up.

  3. #23
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    Well..you would think that a PT medic would be better than no medic or paying a FT medic time and a half.

    Matt

  4. #24
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    Default You like me

    You like me are probably just a small player in this big EMS game. I am sure that it all makes sense to the people in charge. I am under the impression that when you start in upper level managment you lose the majority of your common sense.

  5. #25
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    There is a problem finding medics with good work ethic. I have seen a few medics that have applied for jobs that will probably never get hired because of the way they present themselves and the way they act. Just because you are a certified medic doesn't mean you are a shoe in for a job. It means you have the ability to use you being a medic to your advantage when applying for a job.
    You can have all the certifications in the world but if you are " a turd in a punch bowl" you will never get hired in the public service world. If you do get hired they made a bad mistake.

  6. #26
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    First, I left full time nursing (yes, I have all the whistles and titles/16 yrs.) and went back in to the field full time. First, it was my love of being a Paramedic, second it allowed me to finish nurse practitioner school (I still plan to continue be in EMS),and yes salary wise I make as much as a RN, being a Paramedic.

    I agree, the pay of being a medic sucks and yes deserve more. Now, with that said, one needs to compare the length of school, professional development.

    I do disagree, when discussing orders and medical direction. Every health care provider has to have some form of orders, unless they are a physician. Albeit, be in form of written (like nursing) or protocols (EMS) we all have to have some form of medical direction (technically and legally).

    Look at the compare the number of hours of education and professional development of the each career requires, not that you personally have, but in general. How many people use EMS as a stepping stone alone? Now, compare that with other health careers. How hard is it really to become a Paramedic (not necessary a good Paramedic), now compare the pass/fail rates of boards and certification test (NREMT in comparison to other health care test, has a high pass rate). One will see it is comparably easy to become one. If it was not, many would not leave the profession so easily.

    Yes, we need money. Although, research has proven most of the time, this will not solve most industry and personal issues problems. I personally believe part of the problem is EMS is that it is a dead end career. When one has reached the goal of being a Paramedic, where does one go? True, many opt for a uni-lateral movement to supervisory, management, or education, then that's it?

    As well, so many opt for the easy buck.. not looking at the long term benefit. Sure, money up-front is nice, but so would a good retirement, nice benefit package, such as insurance, education reimbursement, and longevity pay.
    So many in EMS look at short term goals, and immediate fixes and not the whole picture.

    So what can be done to increase the number of medics, the pay, the benefits?

    First, let's not re-invent the wheel. Compare our profession to those that have better pay, benefits, etc. The LEO ha a very active lobbyist group that makes sure that they are protected in Congress and their request are heard. Look at the nursing profession, that makes sure that each state has their profession ran by a board for nurses by nurses, in lieu of others running it for them.

    Instead of whining, they actually participate in large association groups and personally attend local state representation in laws and rule making. How many of you write to your representatives and know health and EMS legislation in your state? How many medics you know are members or support EMS associations and groups that attempt to make changes? Locally, nationally?

    The problem in my area is not so much a shortage, as much as it is that no one wants to hire the quality of what is being produced. We crank out Paramedics every 16 weeks, that pass the exam, only not able to perform the job adequately. So many fail our entrance exam, and oral boards, it has became ridiculous. The exam has not changed in difficulty.

    Yes, there is Paramedics working at Wal-Mart, delivering bread, etc. due to inability to meet the employers expectations. As well. we have found out many have poor misconceptions of what EMS is about and their expectations of "EMS" is unfounded. Rather, their goals and perception is what they have only seen on television.

    Hopefully, EMS can unite to improve pay, benefits, to increase the number of those that really want to work in EMS and provide excellent health care.

    R/r 911

  7. #27
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    There is no medic shortage in the Seattle are, but as has already been pointed out, we have a great system and are compensated well.
    Around $70,000 per year, closer to $100k after awhile.
    All the benefits of a major city FF, pension, Def-Comp, etc.
    As I have mentioned before, perhaps part of the "medic shortage" is that many areas are trying to put a medic on every rig in the area.
    Someone mentioned how bad it is in Florida- doesn't Fl have about the highest ratio of population/medic in the country?

    Anyways, I see how medics work in other areas, and what they get paid, and I can only be glad I don't live there.
    If I did, I would move!

  8. #28
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    Mitllesmertz... not sure if you've said this in previous posts (so I apologize), but what would be your guess as to why various regions of the country have not seen the value of tiered systems such as Seattle? Surely the topic is raised just as the common "need a medic (or even 2!) on every truck." My department here in the northeast is fortunate not to be overrun with paramedics, and though we DO keep a medic on the ambulance, it's all part of a rotation from pump to ladder to ambulance, and medics are taken off the pump or ladder as needed. There seem to be very few tiered response services out in this neck of the woods, though I know of a couple here in NH and a couple in northern MA.
    ~Kevin
    Firefighter/Paramedic
    --^v--^v--^v--^v--
    Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong
    Dennis Miller

  9. #29
    Forum Member croaker260's Avatar
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    I'll respond to that...four letters....I.A.F.F.

    As in its a labor and PR issue to push medics evey truck...more $$, more leverage in contract negotiations, and its a good simple point to sell to the uneducated public. Many FF even belive its a good model.

    After all this is america..more is better , RIGHT?

    To bad its not based on patient care...
    Steve

    Paramedic, CCEMT-P, Geek

    "Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no matter how good you are, eventually it will break. "

  10. #30
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitllesmertz1
    There is no medic shortage in the Seattle are, but as has already been pointed out, we have a great system and are compensated well.
    Around $70,000 per year, closer to $100k after awhile.
    All the benefits of a major city FF, pension, Def-Comp, etc.
    the paragod hits the nail right on the head!!! you don't have a shortage in Seattle because a paramedic makes a decent wage (enough to support himself and a family), has a pension, and benefits that are comprable to that of a city FF. and I bet you don't have the turnover or the people leaving for other professions like other parts of the US experience on a regular basis.

    Imagine that, in a place where a medic makes a decent salary and has good benefits and a pension they aren't experiencing a medic shortage.

    maybe the rest of the county should take notice?
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

    FF/EMT/DBP

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMT18325
    Well..you would think that a PT medic would be better than no medic or paying a FT medic time and a half.

    Matt
    when it comes down to it it's not cheaper to high a PT so you don't ahve to pay the overtime to FT'ers. It sounds funny but it's true I've done the math. When you hire a PT guy so you have extra help so you don't have to pay over time you have to offer them benefits. That's the key it's cheaper to pay OT then to pay benefits.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitllesmertz1
    There is no medic shortage in the Seattle are, but as has already been pointed out, we have a great system and are compensated well.
    Around $70,000 per year, closer to $100k after awhile.
    All the benefits of a major city FF, pension, Def-Comp, etc.
    As I have mentioned before, perhaps part of the "medic shortage" is that many areas are trying to put a medic on every rig in the area.
    Someone mentioned how bad it is in Florida- doesn't Fl have about the highest ratio of population/medic in the country?

    Anyways, I see how medics work in other areas, and what they get paid, and I can only be glad I don't live there.
    If I did, I would move!
    I believe one of the highest places is here in cleveland area.

  13. #33
    Forum Member croaker260's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrParasite
    the paragod hits the nail right on the head!!! you don't have a shortage in Seattle because a paramedic makes a decent wage (enough to support himself and a family), has a pension, and benefits that are comprable to that of a city FF. and I bet you don't have the turnover or the people leaving for other professions like other parts of the US experience on a regular basis.

    Imagine that, in a place where a medic makes a decent salary and has good benefits and a pension they aren't experiencing a medic shortage.

    maybe the rest of the county should take notice?

    Dont forget that they also have a rewarding work enviroment..they are enabled and empowered to take care of their patients..they see a high volume of high acuity patients, and they have RESPECT....in otherwords they get top notch wages and benies to provide top notch care. THIS is what makes SEATTLE/KCM1 different.

    The first will attract medics, the second will attract GOOD medics.
    Steve

    Paramedic, CCEMT-P, Geek

    "Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no matter how good you are, eventually it will break. "

  14. #34
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    FF/PM in southern california for most major or moderately sized departments make $75k to $100K/yr, with engineer and captain/medic pulling in $90k to $150k/yr, and more with overtime etc. You could make over $200k/yr if you spent a large amount of your life at work for a year. This pay is base salary with incentives (educational, longevity, tech bonuses, preceptor pay, hazmat, etc.). Top it off with retirement 3% at 50, which means at 50 you are eligible to retire at 3% times how many years worked to max of 90%. In your retirement will have survivor benefits too. Most cities pay the employees share of their retirement.

    Example: age 50 with 27 yrs on = 81% of highest paid salary yr (minus OT) paid to you each year by PERS for life. If he works three more years, he can retire at 90%.

    Retirement usually has some kind of medical program with it, many have lifetime medical program paid.

    We have paid holidays, FLSA (mandatory OT pay), deferred comp, fully paid medical/vision/dental (or you make a small contribution for your family PPO plans), city paid long term disability, city paid life insurance, death and disability insurance, etc.

    Most start at 144 hrs vacation yr and 120 hours sick and increases with time on.

    Cities pay for all uniforms/equipment and provide annual allowances for dry cleaning. Many cities offer ride share programs to help curb gas prices. Stations are great, equipment is top knotch we only work modified Kelly schedules which are 24 hour shifts, a total of 10 shifts per month.

    Advancement opportunities are in rescue, hazmat, usar, swat, engineer, captain, battalion chief, etc. You can be a medic on an engine, truck, ambulance, squad, anything. All of this stuff changes the monotany of the job sometimes.

    Of course southern CA is one of the most expensive places in the country to live so pay needs to be comparable to cost of living.

    Of course there is mandatory OT, where you get forced to work and that sucks, especially on holidays but so is the nature of the beast. There are a lot of openings for FF/PM, but testing is rigorous, you have to pass polygraphs, psych exams, assessment centers, physicals, physical agilities, several oral interviews. Usually 1-2 out of 100 get hired. Probation is 12-18 months constant drilling and testing, at will employees. It is tough, but a very rewarding experience.

    There are not a shortage of applicants, but only of "qualified" candidates...
    Last edited by OCFirePM; 10-07-2006 at 02:43 PM.

  15. #35
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    Well, as far as our EMS system goes, our BLS units are medication certified, and we have standing orders for most meds, the only one we have to call for is epi-pens. This is only if the pt. does not have one, then we have to call for clearance to administer, or"assist" the pt.
    As far as recruiting goes, our community is a rural farming county, and getting people to volunteer is a real pain. We do not get paid, at all, true volunteers. I am the director/coordinator of EMS for our department, and life is difficult for us right now. We cover about 150 square miles with one station, two trucks(one medium rescue-crash rescue, and one non-transporting BLS ambulance), and ten personnel. Right now we have three prospects on new volunteers, adn we are trying to put together a first responders class, but the amount of time it takes to get it cleared through IDPH to get the class is 60-90 days, depending on the backlog. I need people now, not in six months!!!
    To make matters worse, for those of you in Illinois I am sure you know this, Illinois no longer has a BLS test. There is a Paramedics, and they are developing an I test, but no B test. It is the National standards test. Now, Dont get me wrong, I am sure it is all good and well, but I think that the national standards test is geared more for the veteran EMT-B, not someone just out of class. I could be wrong, but that is my opinion. And to boot, the national standards test last year had such a high failure rate, only 1 of a class of 20 at a neighboring department passed the B test. To my understanding, this has been corrected, but it still lingers in the minds of prospective students.
    Last edited by cprs1707; 10-12-2006 at 06:28 AM. Reason: additional

  16. #36
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    Matt,
    WHere you at in TN?

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by croaker260
    I'll respond to that...four letters....I.A.F.F.

    As in its a labor and PR issue to push medics evey truck...more $$, more leverage in contract negotiations, and its a good simple point to sell to the uneducated public. Many FF even belive its a good model.

    After all this is america..more is better , RIGHT?

    To bad its not based on patient care...

    How is the IAFF any worst than Rural-Metro or EMSC (i.e. AMR/Laidlaw) in trying to take over EMS? Are they going to be any better?

    You just have to read their annual financials to learn all they care about is $$$$. Both mention losses in revenue due to a lower than expected intra-facility transfers because the flu did not hit that hard.

    Is there one good answer? No. You have to find what works for your area. Does the IAFF have an agenda? Yes. Does Rural-Metro and AMR? Yes. Do they all have what's best for the patient in mind? More than likely not. Do they have their eye on the almighty dollar? You bet.

    My only problem is when you take out the wacking stick on the IAFF like they are all that is evil in EMS. How does your service which is funded by taxes and use fees differ from a FD based EMS also funded in the same manner?

    I would be more afraid of AMR and Rural-Metro who are both in business for the bottom line (not the medics and the people on the street mind you, but the ones in the corner offices where patients equal revenue.)

    What would happen to your service ("municipal, third-service") if AMR walks into your county council meeting and says "We'll give you $10,000,000 for exclusive 911 coverage." What would the outcome be?

    BACK to the TOPIC:

    If you need to find some paramedics we are going to have a bunch graduating from the academy in a few months. Most have never taken a blood pressure but are part of the chief's everyone is going to be a paramedic policy. So no shortage here. Just a bunch of brand spanking, ink wet on the card medics coming soon.

    Stay safe and have fun.
    Last edited by lexfd5; 10-25-2006 at 11:59 PM. Reason: dang computer hung up

  18. #38
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    I know at my department, we have a hard time also, but the pay is low and so is the ammount of calls.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by lexfd5
    How is the IAFF any worst than Rural-Metro or EMSC (i.e. AMR/Laidlaw) in trying to take over EMS? Are they going to be any better?

    You just have to read their annual financials to learn all they care about is $$$$. Both mention losses in revenue due to a lower than expected intra-facility transfers because the flu did not hit that hard.

    Is there one good answer? No. You have to find what works for your area. Does the IAFF have an agenda? Yes. Does Rural-Metro and AMR? Yes. Do they all have what's best for the patient in mind? More than likely not. Do they have their eye on the almighty dollar? You bet.

    My only problem is when you take out the wacking stick on the IAFF like they are all that is evil in EMS. How does your service which is funded by taxes and use fees differ from a FD based EMS also funded in the same manner?

    I would be more afraid of AMR and Rural-Metro who are both in business for the bottom line (not the medics and the people on the street mind you, but the ones in the corner offices where patients equal revenue.)

    What would happen to your service ("municipal, third-service") if AMR walks into your county council meeting and says "We'll give you $10,000,000 for exclusive 911 coverage." What would the outcome be?

    BACK to the TOPIC:

    If you need to find some paramedics we are going to have a bunch graduating from the academy in a few months. Most have never taken a blood pressure but are part of the chief's everyone is going to be a paramedic policy. So no shortage here. Just a bunch of brand spanking, ink wet on the card medics coming soon.

    Stay safe and have fun.

    Lex, sorry for the late reply, I must have missed your post.

    1st, I agree that the AMRs and R/Ms of the world are out for profitt. It also seems that one of the few patient oriented provates, Pridemark, has finally fallen to the pressure of socklholders and profit margins, or so rumor has it from a few former employees....if there are any former pridemark employees onhere, perhaps they wouldlike to shed some light....

    2nd, about 10-11 years ago AMR did scout our our area, the feasability study reported that the current third service...as in us...was too well entrenched in the community and had the medical communities support to make a bid for the 911 contracts worthwile. Since this was a year and a half before I arrived I cant attest to it, but I heard it from a former AMR mid-uppper level managemnt type.

    3rd, the AMR's and R/M's seldom offer money for the contract. What they do instead is offer to do it for a smaller tax subsididy than the current model. this is the only way they can make 911 feasible, that and some contractual terms that lock down the non emergent transport strictly to AMR. While there may be some areas that a private payed for permission to operate, that is a rareity. Most of the time they wrangle out a way to get paid.

    4th, doenst your statement on the new medics in fact back up what I was saying , rather than dispute it? Just a thought. I take it you dont think much of the medic on every street courner concept either now, huh? or am I taking your comments incorrectly?
    Steve

    Paramedic, CCEMT-P, Geek

    "Boldness is like a condom. If you depend on it all the time, no matter how good it is, and no matter how good you are, eventually it will break. "

  20. #40
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    I'll have to take the fifth on the last one for a few months. Don't want to rock the boat in a public forum.

    Actually, many in our local have questioned the chief's new practice. It was not labor who wanted the change, but management.

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