EMS agencies all over the world are feeling the crunch and looking for more providers. Queensland, Australia, has started a program to actively recruit experienced paramedics from the United Kingdom. The Queensland Ambulance Service has colorful brochures outlining qualifications, compensation and even employment locations on its Web site:„www.ambulance.qld.gov.au/recruitment/qualified_uk.asp.
Queensland has recently experienced 10% annual growth and is looking to expand its EMS force proportionately. Stations have closed because of staffing shortages and paramedics have complained about working 50Ï60 hours a week. Although the paramedic classes are currently full, there’s an immediate need for people in the field. New paramedics must work with experienced paramedics for three years in Queensland, so importing senior providers will alleviate some of the pressure on current ambulance officers.
Emergency Services Minister Pat Purcell says, “We still need at least 250 paramedics a year for the next five years.”