Happy Medic said it in response to Ambulance Driver,
The real argument is whether paying a Firefighter/Paramedic $25/hr to sit around eating ice cream while the single role medic sits on post making $8 is a good idea. I don’t know for sure, but the only reason they make $8 is because the company knows they can keep you in the seat. If enough of you left, they’d have to raise the salary to stay in business.
One nail, hit on head. I’ve said this before and I no doubt will say it again. There is no shortage of paramedics. What there is, is a shortage of paramedics who are willing to work for the low pay, high call volume, crappy or non existent benefits, sitting in an ambulance for 8-10-12 or more hours, not able to even go to the bathroom without asking for permission, lowest common denominator medicine, that is EMS in much of the country. It’s arguably worse in the private sector, but you have to look no further than NYC to know that the public sector treats much of it’s EMS work force like crap.
Until that changes, until EMT and paramedic educational training programs are little more than diploma mills, until EMS defines itself as at least a trade if not a profession, then nothing will improve.
I’m not sure why AD thinks that 75% of the people in EMS are overpaid, I certainly don’t see them. My service pays better than the average, by far, and yet I don’t know that we are overpaid. I’d guess, knowing him as I do, that he’s seen too many lazy medics who do just enough to get by. No doubt they exist, because they exist in every field of endeavor. Happy Medic no doubt knows fire fighters who do just enough to skate by, I know that there are police officers who do exactly that. I’ve seen doctors who do that too. Many lawyers are cringing as they read this because they know that it’s not how they operate. Still, in every field, those are the fortunately rare exceptions.
Most of the EMTs and paramedics I know work their asses off. What’s odd is that I know a lot of people who left higher paying jobs to become EMTs or paramedics because there was something in their previous careers that just didn’t make them happy.
Either way, for whatever reason, most EMS jobs pay far less than they should. It’s been that way since I started in EMS and I expect it to be that way long after I’ve gone.
If you’re in EMS and want to know why, look in the mirror.