Archive for December 25th, 2022

Fire Service news … EMT shortage

Excerpts from

Nearly every industry has dealt with staffing shortages since the start of the pandemic, but few occupations can mean the difference between life and death like that of an EMT. But for many, low wages are forcing EMTs out of their jobs.

After seven years, one EMT is not sure how much longer she can afford to keep doing the job. Her current pay is $18 an hour, slightly more than the national median average for EMTs which is $17.05 per hour. That translates into $35,470 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists it as one of the lowest-paying jobs in health care. Low pay was the primary reason roughly one-third of all EMTs quit in 2021, and the industry is having a hard time replacing them.

A 2022 American Ambulance Association study of employee turnover found that 39% of part-time EMT and 55% of part-time paramedic positions went unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates.

Medicaid’s reimbursement for non-emergency transports, like moving a patient between hospitals or taking someone to dialysis, keeps wages low.

AMR, the nation’s largest private ambulance provider, is ending non-emergency transport in Los Angeles County. The company cites low Medicaid reimbursement as a major reason for a $3.5 million budget deficit in that market alone.

Amwest Ambulance is moving to give employees a raise to keep from losing EMTs. But they can’t afford it long-term, and if Medicaid reimbursements don’t increase, they may also have to stop non-emergency services. It costs the company more than $250 for an average non-emergency transport call, however their Medicaid reimbursement is just $107.

California recently passed a law that could require a $22-an-hour minimum wage for fast food workers. However, there is no mandated pay for EMTs.

thanks Rob

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3-Alarm fire in Oak Park, 10-23-22 (more)

From Steve Redick:

Audio from the 3-Alarm fire in Oak Park, 10-23-22

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