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For Immediate Release:
Quincy, MA – Members of the NAGE EMS in San Diego, California, have been receiving misguided attacks regarding ambulance response times in that city. NAGE EMS Director Phil Petit commented, “The problems we see across the board are inadequate funding and insufficient personnel. The entire system is overtaxed. In this instance, we have seen significant increase in calls that require an ambulance.” Petit continued, “All first responders would agree that the resources just aren’t there. This year alone we have had our ambulances shot at because EMTs were the first people to respond to the scene.”
Petit then stated, “The problem here is all too familiar. If you can’t pay people a living wage to work as EMTs, it is going to be difficult to retain them when a better opportunity presents itself. EMTs, unlike firefighters and police officers, start off making $12 per hour. While the cost to employ an EMT is significantly lower to the taxpayers in San Diego, providing these individual with minimal benefits means they are more likely to leave and the department could be understaffed as a result.”
Petit believes a better solution to the problem involves stabilizing the EMS workforce with living wages and benefits and increasing strategic cooperation among first responders.