Austin Travis County EMS hiring Paramedics and paying them as Basics

ExpatMedic0

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Anyone notice that the famous Austin Travis county EMS took a turn for the worse a while back? I use to think this looked like a great municipal agency to consider working for, then a few months ago they stopped paying for double paramedic ambulances. Ok fair enough... but... now there in a budget crises...

Now on there recruitment website there hiring Paramedics (even TX licensed medics with college degree's) to work for EMT-B pay until a position becomes available to be "promoted" to Paramedic, although you are in all actuality a certified or licensed paramedic from the start.

I wrote to the recruitment and PR people twice about this, never got a reply.

This seems like a shady business practice to save money. Any thoughts?
How about some of you from Texas? Did I get the story right or can you fill us in ?
 

DesertMedic66

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Common practice. When a medic position opens up they will be moved into it and given medic pay.
 
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ExpatMedic0

ExpatMedic0

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Common practice.

So maybe RN's should work as CNA's "until a spot becomes available" for an RN or Doctors should work as orderly's until the hospital has the money to "promote" them to what level they already are? Seems absurd to me
 

DesertMedic66

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So maybe RN's should work as CNA's "until a spot becomes available" for an RN or Doctors should work as orderly's until the hospital has the money to "promote" them to what level they already are? Seems absurd to me

Medic wants a job with company A. Company A only has spots open for EMT. Medic wants a job to make money. Medic accepts EMT job so that it gets him/her some money and a guaranteed medic position when one opens up. Company A is happy and in the end the medic gets a medic job.
 

medicsb

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I don't think this is a bad idea, really. Its probably a pretty good idea. The medic as an EMT gains familiarity with the system and the medics, gets observed for their work, they will likely have to keep up on their knowledge in order to compete for a position, and transitioning to medic will likely be much smoother than hiring a new medic (and cheaper from a financial standpoint).
 

Veneficus

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I don't think this is a bad idea, really. Its probably a pretty good idea. The medic as an EMT gains familiarity with the system and the medics, gets observed for their work, they will likely have to keep up on their knowledge in order to compete for a position, and transitioning to medic will likely be much smoother than hiring a new medic (and cheaper from a financial standpoint).

I am not sure I like the idea.

If you are not usng your knowledge, then you are losing it.

Also some places I have seen do this have had to pay EMTs very close to medic salaries. But when being a medic earns only $1 or $2 over an EMT, the question becomes why accept the responsibility.

I also think that it promotes insular practices and I know of no agency that retains any level of quality once it becomes a good old boys club.

I am not so sure ATC is being shady, it looks more like desperation to me.
 

fast65

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It's not really that uncommon of a practice, I know a few companies around here have been thinking of doing something like that, or already have.

When you have a budget crisis, but have the benefit of being in a hiring market saturated with paramedics who are desperate for a job, why not pay them EMT wages? Sure, I don't personally like the practice, but it's a smart move in my opinion. You get a higher level provider for a lower cost, smart move on the employers side of things.

The way I see it, this has the potential to increase employee performance, at least in theory. You have a paramedic who performs at a satisfactory level, and is content with that, but then you add in a large pool of paramedics who are working for EMT wages with the promise of getting the next open medic spot. Soon that medic will realize that those medics below them want their spot, and they're going to be working hard to get it, so what's that do to the other medic? It might make him perform just a little bit better to ensure he keeps his spot.
 

STXmedic

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It's been known down here that they are doing that. Right or wrong, that's how they're doing it. If you don't like it, don't apply. Odds are a paramedic spot will open up pretty quick anyway; ATC has a considerably high turn-over.

Besides, their basics still get paid better than most medics.
 

medic417

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They hire you at basic wages and you only practice as a basic even though certified as a Paramedic. Would be aggravating to know more than the guy that is being paid to be the Paramedic.
 

STXmedic

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I agree, it would be quite frustrating. I'd probably end up getting called in to the medical directors office a couple times... :unsure:
 

medicsb

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I am not sure I like the idea.

If you are not usng your knowledge, then you are losing it.

This would certainly be a huge con. I think it would depend more on how long it takes to transition into a medic position. If you're working with a medic, you'll be seeing the same calls and just because you're not riding in the few ALS patients you see, doesn't mean you're not using your knowledge. You will certainly get rusty skill-wise (I'd say most medics in all-ALS systems are inherently rusty, though), but that can be ameliorated if there is some additional hands-on training and review during the transition to the higher position. A medic should get to know their partner and the extent of their knowledge and if their EMT partner is medic trained, then the medic should consider the EMT to be a potential resource when making decisions.
 

VFlutter

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So maybe RN's should work as CNA's "until a spot becomes available" for an RN or Doctors should work as orderly's until the hospital has the money to "promote" them to what level they already are? Seems absurd to me

Some new graduate RNs will work as techs for a few months before a RN job opens up on the floor they want. Or some people get tech jobs in ICUs, even though they have an RN license, with the hope that they will be offered a job as a nurse when available.

I do not see a problem with it. It is the person's choice to take that lower paid job with the expectation of moving up. If you do not like it then get a job at another company. But I am guessing the places doing this are good companies with a lot of applicants applying.

Personally, if a good ICU offered me a job but required me to work as a tech for 6 months I would still probably take it. It all comes down to how bad you want the job and if it is worth the wait.
 

Tigger

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There are more than a few paramedics working as basics at Boston EMS, who does not hire paramedics. They hire basics, and then put them through a medic program. I can't imagine being a medic and being kept at the basic level, yes your assessment skills would be superior but working on a straight BLS ambulance there is not a lot to do with the results.
 
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ExpatMedic0

ExpatMedic0

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Seattle medic 1 makes all outside paramedics retake there paramedic program with medic 1. However you are paid quite well while doing, not 15 bucks an hour at ATC as a licensed degree baring paramedic
 

Medic Tim

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There are more than a few paramedics working as basics at Boston EMS, who does not hire paramedics. They hire basics, and then put them through a medic program. I can't imagine being a medic and being kept at the basic level, yes your assessment skills would be superior but working on a straight BLS ambulance there is not a lot to do with the results.

their basics make more than most medics. From what I hear they are very selective
 

STXmedic

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Seattle medic 1 makes all outside paramedics retake there paramedic program with medic 1. However you are paid quite well while doing, not 15 bucks an hour at ATC as a licensed degree baring paramedic

Where are you getting your pay information on ATC at...

And licensed paramedic makes no difference on pay. Some companies pay extra for having a degree, but that's not related to whether or not they're a licensed paramedic vs certified.
 
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ExpatMedic0

ExpatMedic0

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http://atcems.org/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=14&Itemid=27

"you can be certified at the EMT-Basic, EMT-Intermediate, EMT-Paramedic, or the Licensed Paramedic level and will have the opportunity to promote within the department to EMS Medic II and beyond. Working alongside an EMS Medic II, you will have the opportunity to perform both basic and a limited number of advanced procedures such as; King LTD airway placement, nebulized medication administration, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and 12 Lead ECG acquisitions. Pay rate is $15.35 an hour and you will be on a 48 hour workweek. "

It seems to me this is a good way to get a paramedic with a college degree (licensed paramedic in TX) and pay him/her as someone with a few weeks of training(EMT-B) for as long the agency needs to save money.Who knows how long this will be. ATC recruitment and PR wont answer my emails. Your from TX so maybe you can shed some light on this?
 
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STXmedic

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Ah, you were referring to the basic level's pay on the box. That's about the standard pay rate (or slightly higher) for a medic at most private companies around here. So for a medic, you'll be paid about average. If you're a basic, you'll be paid much higher than any basic around.

I fail to see how any of that correlates to ATC bringing on more licensed, college educated paramedic than standard paramedics, or any other level for that matter.

ATC tried this a year or two ago and it failed because the city didn't officially clear it. This time they have city backing. They are also about to go to collective bargaining through the city. So if they want to keep upping their pay and benefits, I doubt the city will decide to go back to dual medics. Especially if they can sell that these advanced basics are more than enough to support a paramedic partner.
 
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Tigger

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their basics make more than most medics. From what I hear they are very selective

Yes to both, IIRC starting pay for basics while in the academy is 45k plus, and then it goes up significantly once you start working on a truck.
 
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ExpatMedic0

ExpatMedic0

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I made over $15.00 an hour as an EMT in Oregon...

I guess where I am getting at is this. ATC use to have 2 Paramedics making good Paramedic wages on each ambulance. According to what I have read they are having a budget crisis and cut each ambulance to have 1 Paramedic and 1 EMT. They claim this was not done to save money, yet there way over there budget right from what I have read in the Austin news paper and JEMS. NOW There accepting "anyone" to fill the 2nd non Paramedic on each ambulance.

I would imagine if I was a hiring manager and some EMT-B's, EMT-I's, EMT-P's and EMT-P's with college degrees applied I would choose the EMT-P's with college degree's. Your getting " a lot more for your money" and when your in a budget crises it would make a lot of sense. So now tell me this, since this is not just a probational thing its now your official job title... how long does a Paramedic have to work for this? Is it even possible any longer to be hired directly as a Paramedic?

I am not sure but I think I see this as a way to save money at the cost of the employee.
 
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