Current San Diego BLS Service Salaries


Forum Probie
Good evening everyone,
I am about a week away from becoming fully certified (Course written test, SKills, SD County Card, Ambulance etc... completed or in process of completion) just need NREMT, which I feel pretty confident about...

I have been "trolling" (not the bad way) checking for any recent threads on CURRENT BLS service salaries in San Diego (Balboa, Pacific, Riley, AMR Extreme, Maxcare etc....)

***I am not going into this industry for the money, as I am sure is the case with about 99.999% of all everybody on here***

I am just looking for some concrete info, although, I will not be passing any opportunities up if they present themselves, just want to know what others have been paid along with any possible positives and negatives with the services (Im sure there are plenty, I know thats just the nature of the beast that is private ambulance companies); and possibly any input on the gear (rigs, stretchers, all the good stuff). I have heard some pretty disheartening stories from fellow classmates about some pretty subpar operations (one example, rig had to be warmed up and not shut off for around 20 minutes before beginning shift, don't know the validity of this but sounds pretty rough).
Just want to be able to provide the most comfort to the patients regardless of the gear.
Thanks for any help. Absolutely appreciated in every sense.
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Forum Ride Along
Hey there, congrats on getting past the class and onto your NREMT.

Now, I'm an EMT in LA County but i've been looking at transferring to San Diego. So I'll share what I know and anyone can correct me if they feel otherwise.

First off, it depends if you plan on trying to get hired with a 911 company or an IFT company. 911 would include Rural/Metro and AMR. However...
Contracts with the SDFD go out here in the next few months so it would be smart of you to wait and see whom gets the contract. Rural/Metro holds the City contract right now and I'm not saying they won't keep it. But i'm not saying they will. You never know until its on paper.
IFT's will always be around and one that is always hiring is ER Ambulance (They have a ad...) and IFT's may be "boring" but its a great way to get your foot in the door of EMS. It makes you create patient contact, learn how to speak to people from different backgrounds(Sir or ma'am may be necessary) and you will get pretty good at vitals and a blood pressure on a rig (Now you can't watch the needle "jump"). You can normally trust larger companies with always having the correct supplies and decent rigs (Speaking from experience with AMR)
As for pay, once again depends on the 911/IFT route, your shifts (8,10,12 or 24 hr); anything over 8 hours/40 hours a week has to be time and a half.
Avoid companies that offer 24 hour shifts but have "down time". Down time is when you're an EMT working a 24 hour shift but you only get a portion of that paid, lets say 6am to 10pm but the "down time" or time you will be sleeping, unless you get a call, is left unpaid. You have to clock in and clock out while you're on a call and when you return from a call. Talk about bitter EMT's.
I hadn't even heard of that until I was in a relationship with a very, very bitter EMT and his excitement was "We made downtime today!" meaning he got paid the hours he should have been paid all along. Anyways..
Generally, you're looking a 9 bucks an hour (minimum wage now.) to 11 bucks an hour to start.
Stay at home or look for a cheap place, get a second job and hold on until you can either get into medic school, on a department or you're cool with making under 20 bucks an hour for the rest of your life.
Welcome to the dream!


Forum Ride Along
For BLS only, how involved has your medical director been? What have you found helpful?


Forum Lieutenant
For BLS only, how involved has your medical director been? What have you found helpful?

I don't think EMS Docs get too involved with BLS companies that do not provide 911 services. At least not in the counties i've worked in.

I think they might have a little input on what BLS Rigs are required to carry in the county and maybe they do a rough outline of what are acceptable BLS treatments; but aside from that I think medical directors have little to no contact with IFT BLS companies.
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