EMS Wage Increase   

In 2018, the minimum wage for an EMT in Wisconsin is 15 dollars an hour, an average of 32,000 dollars a year. I believe as well as other EMTs, that we are underpaid for the amount of work and daily tasks we achieve and overcome in a day. EMTs are like doctors and nurses on wheels moving of an average of 40-60 miles an hour. My intention here is to raise awareness for increasing the wages for EMTs. EMTs do similar work as a doctor or a nurse would do at a health care clinic or hospital. As we help save lives in moving vehicle going from one place to another in danger conditions such as blizzards, fires, freezing temperatures and tragedies. We are always there first when a tragedy strikes, by increasing the wages for EMTs is something that is very worth debating about.

Keep in mind Paramedics typically hold an associate’s degree, with thousands of hours of simulation and clinical training time. There has been quite an uproar over the move to pay fast-food workers $15/hour. EMS personnel look at their own meager pay rates and cry foul. But it has nothing to do with competency. It has nothing to do with college. It has nothing to do with pickles, onions, or rapid trauma assessments. It has nothing to do with the required skills of the job.

If prices rise and wages do not keep pace with inflation, then the first people to feel the discrepancy are minimum wage workers, those at the bottom with the least wiggle room. When the discrepancy becomes uncomfortable enough, they begin to push for higher wages. When they receive those higher wages, it does not mean that others, such as EMS personnel, get waged out—it means that all wages shift upwards. It takes time, and it is not an even, across the board shift, but all wages do shift upwards eventually.

Wages must keep up with inflation. If the upper-level workers want higher wages, the lower-wage workers have to shift first. This is not a threat. It is not about the value of the job or the skills. It is simple economics, a symptom of inflation.Inflation is caused by the debasement of the currency. The US Mint prints money, which lowers the value of the dollar, so it takes more dollars to equal the same value. When they stop printing, inflation stops, and there is a recession/depression. When people protest the economic correction, they start printing again and inflate some more.

Resisting wage increases does not stop prices from rising or stop inflation, and if we are going to inflate the money supply, we need to own the consequences completely. Our only option is to raise minimum wage, match inflation, and understand that in time our own wages must increase as well—just in time for prices to rise again. To not increase wages is unfair to those who have lost the most value due to inflation, and this includes for EMS workers.

Paramedics play an essential role in maintaining the well-being of the general public. They deliver crucial first aid, and are instrumental in keeping individuals alive. We need to form a nation wide union for higher wages. Nurses have got their stuff together and they demanded higher wages for the longest time and they get paid really well. I don’t see why we can’t do the same.