The economic situation is bad and getting worse. However, this is only the first year, and because most EMS organizations run on budgets determined a year in advance, salary data is not yet reflecting the downturn. In fact, there's no indication that base salaries are down at this time, but leaders report they're starting to tweak benefits for the most part, rather than cut them, in reaction to first-line cuts and in anticipation of more. Some 10% have reduced major medical for employees and their families, and roughly 5% have reduced college tuition reimbursement. But benefits are an important part of overall compensation, so any change is significant.
For more than 25 years, JEMS has been surveying EMS agencies from across the U.S. about workplace issues in an effort to follow the trends in compensation from region to region and across call volumes. Today, the "JEMS Salary & Workplace Survey" is the leading source for information on EMS salary and workplace practices. Although the survey isn't perfect, it's the most comprehensive look into the work environment of the EMS industry available today.
Included here as a JEMS.com exclusive are data gathered through the survey for all salaries by call volume and region. (Click on "Download" below for the PDF.) Take a good long look at the tables, because this is the last year for many years the data will be status quo -- who knows what next year's survey will reveal?
David M. Williams,
MS, is a senior consultant at the international emergency services consulting group Fitch & Associates
He's a member of the JEMS editorial board, an adjunct assistant professor of emergency medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, and an associate member of Prehospital
Care Research Forum. Contact him at email@example.com