of approximately $70,000.18, 19 It’s no wonder
that EMS often experiences a migration of
EMS personnel to nursing professions.
Duke considers the opportunity that the
community paramedicine program has pro-
vided him to be a good one. “It’s not just a
paycheck. I get to help people before they
need an ambulance. I get to spend some time
helping them stay out of the ambulance and
hospital,” he thinks. “And it saves the system
money. How great is that?”
Considering the current state of jobs and
employment in the U.S. today, EMS is look-
ing pretty good. Although the profession’s
future might not quite be bright enough for
“dark sunglasses,” wage growth has been a
bright spot in an otherwise depressed U.S.
job market. EMS innovation, aimed at serving
the population and cutting costs, has demon-
strated benefit and value to healthcare. Com-
munity paramedicine is a key component in
future ACO success.
Based on the quantitative reductions in
education, training and tuition reimbursement, EMS leaders and providers in all
sectors of the industry are cautioned that
short-term economic gains may hinder
future EMS capacity and capability. Further,
a family-oriented EMS employer must consider that many EMS workers households are
supported by two working adults in order
to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. Flexible
staffing, scheduling, childcare and sick childcare may be a key component of workforce
recruitment, retention, employee satisfaction and loyalty.
Circling back to Staley’s motivational theory in EMS, it’s the person who brings the passion that gives the “heart” to EMS. A paycheck
is meaningless if you lack the understanding
of those human components.
Michael Greene, MBA/MSHA, is a senior associate at Fitch
& Associates. He has served in frontline and leadership positions, including volunteer and paid search and rescue, as a
paramedic, a county EMS director and an air medical/criti-cal care transport director. He’s the author of numerous articles and chapters on EMS, air medical transport and safety.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816/431-2600.
Acknowledgment: The author acknowledges the
support and contributions of Fitch project team members
Sharon Conroy, Melissa Addison and Cindy Jackson.
Disclosure: The author is an external, expert consultant with the consulting firm Fitch & Associates, LLC,
which provides emergency service organizational and system audits for communities and individual organizations.
Note: If you’re an EMS service with paid staff that did
not participate in this year’s survey but would like to include
your agency data next year, please e-mail the author.
and;cost;information.;In;Federal Trade Commission.
Survey.;JEMS.;2011; 36( 10): 42–49.
of;EMS.;In;American Collegeof Emergency Physicians.
6.;Andreson;D.;&;Overton;J.;High Performanceand EMS:
International Associationof Fire Fighters.;Retrieved
for;Healthcare;Research.;In;U.S. Department;of Health
and Human Services.;Retrieved;Aug.;11;2012;from;www.
12.;Berry;J.;It;Takes;a;Village.;JEMS. 2012; 37( 8): 42–47.
JEMS.;2006; 31( 10): 38–49.
class.;In;Pew Research Center.;Retrieved;Aug.;22,;2012,
In;Bureauof Labor Statistics. Retrieved;Aug.;5,;2012,
Takeaway Poin Ts:
Innovative EMS leaders and staff are looking at new ways to
increase productivity, efficiency and economics within the
industry. The future may be inherited by those agencies with
a vision of healthcare over a population ‘without walls.’ Early
results of community paramedicine programs demonstrate
favorable outcomes especially in light of healthcare reforms.
> Motivation is more than a paycheck in EMS. EMS
leaders and medical directors must leverage individual’s passions and talents through personal interactions and understanding that goes beyond policy
and workplace compliance.
> EMS has provided excellent wage growth during
tough times. This fact is important as a recruitment
tool and incentive to those in, and those considering,
a career in EMS.