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Raise the Wage: First Responder Edition

“Imagine driving down the road in your car, minding your own business and suddenly time slows down. There is a careless, drunk driver coming head on towards you. Before you can act, you’re hit. The front of your vehicle seems to be getting crushed like an accordion and you jerk forward, hitting your face on the airbag, causing something as little as a concussion to something as serious as broken ribs or a bruised sternum, along with co1b4a86200a3aa2657d18ad6473be11d0untless other injuries that are possible. After a crash, who comes to your rescue? Yes, the first responders. Whether volunteer or paid it does not matter, they are there to help you. They do everything in their power to get you out of that car and to give you the care you need. Rain, snow, night or day they are there. They are your guardian angels at that moment in time.”


Not only is the job rewarding, it is hard work. It is not something that just anybody can do. You have to be a special person who is dedicated in order to do this. You have to have compassion for your patients, be able to work under large amounts of stress and be able to put your own feelings/stress on the back burner. 

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 EMS providers get more disrespect than people might think…

Being called “vultures” and being threatened by people on the street or even their patients.


They work long, tedious hours…

They go through several hours of training…

They spend countless time away from their families…

All to help people…strangers…that they do not know.

Click the link to learn about their job description:

According to the national average, an EMS worker makes about $31,980 annually, (that is about $15.38/hour.)

But, every place is different. Some make more, some make less.

Now, almost 32 grand doesn’t seem like a bad salary, but chances are those people have families to care for. Young kids who are still in school, kids in college just trying to get an education, or even a child who is sick and stuck in the hospital. EMS providers here in Western New York make LESS than the average salary. Below, you will see the pay stub of a Rural/Metro employee after nearly two years of him working there.

This is the wage of a Rural/Metro employee after nearly 2 years of employment. $11.48 per hour. Not a very good living wage, don't you think?

This is the wage of a Rural/Metro employee after nearly 2 years of employment. $11.48 per hour. Not a very good living wage, don’t you think?

Not only do the EMTs and paramedics of Western New York make less than the national average, but nothing is being done to help them. A petition was written by a local (former) Rural/Metro employee to try and help him and his fellow workers, but there were not enough signatures to get it considered.

A second petition was written by a New York City EMS provider, which also did not get enough signatures to be noticed by the President.

Make sure to check out the research that supports both of these petitions.