HEMS/Flight Medic Salary (US)?

ParamagicFF

Forum Crew Member
35
14
8
82,356.00 is my base, which is $36.84 an hour.

We work an 80 hour bi-weekly pay, but do 36 hours one week and 44 the next. So I have built in OT each check. Also have shift differentials and potential OT that aren't added into that base.

Hospital based in D.C. which means D.C. / M.D. cost of living, so you need to make that to make what I call a "good living". I believe we are quite possibly the highest paid US HEMS program in the nation, which was a large reason why I made the recent jump. The benefits package is pretty amazing as well, especially if you have a family. I definitely made a compromise, left a great program I loved, but got tired of making 21.43 an hour to fly after 5 years of service, and working 3 jobs to make the kinda living I wanted to make.

All in all, this year with my P.T. fire job I will do about 115 which I am really happy with and coupled with my wife's salary allows us to live pretty nicely in the area.

Are you able to PM me? I'm new to the site and unable to send PMs it seems. I'm in your area and have some questions I'd like to run by you.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,292
2,234
113
Around here, flight medics make a little less than 3rd service, hospital, or fire EMS, but more than private EMS.
We've had a few folks leave or get offers from FFL, their starting pay for medics (a few years ago) was under 50k. My base is over that and my district is far from wealthy. It's shameful, no wonder they can't keep medics.
 

Ensihoitaja

Forum Captain
340
103
43
We've had a few folks leave or get offers from FFL, their starting pay for medics (a few years ago) was under 50k. My base is over that and my district is far from wealthy. It's shameful, no wonder they can't keep medics.

And you never get a set schedule or base. I'm amazed they keep any employees.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,292
2,234
113
And you never get a set schedule or base. I'm amazed they keep any employees.
I am also told (grain of salt here) that it's a seriously RN heavy program and there is little advancement opportunity for paramedics. We're seeing more and more double RN crews, which would be fine if the the RN crews got some field exposure. If you sit on scene with my trauma patient for 15 minutes in the ambulance, we aren't going to call you anymore.
 

VentMonkey

Family Guy
5,186
4,334
113
If you sit on scene with my trauma patient for 15 minutes in the ambulance, we aren't going to call you anymore.
Any trauma patient? Every trauma patient? I can’t recall how you all say CO works as far as RSI goes, but that is one procedure I’d hate to feel rushed along at, let alone as if the GEMS crews wouldn’t utilize us because of that.

Clearly, I’m not privie to your system, but it just seems like a broad brush to paint with.

There are, and have been numerous calls over the past few months where sitting on scene, thinking it through, and safely and efficiently working with everyone on scene did so much more than had we’d felt, or been rushed along for the soul purpose of time savings when time savings was of no benefit to the particular patient at hand.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,292
2,234
113
Any trauma patient? Every trauma patient? I can’t recall how you all say CO works as far as RSI goes, but that is one procedure I’d hate to feel rushed along at, let alone as if the GEMS crews wouldn’t utilize us because of that.

Clearly, I’m not privie to your system, but it just seems like a broad brush to paint with.

There are, and have been numerous calls over the past few months where sitting on scene, thinking it through, and safely and efficiently working with everyone on scene did so much more than had we’d felt, or been rushed along for the soul purpose of time savings when time savings was of no benefit to the particular patient at hand.
We can and do RSI. I should have added more. I mean 15 minutes to put the monitor on and start an IV on a patient that already large bore access. Not a good reason to wait around with a trauma patient. I get that it takes time to secure things in the aircraft, but we pride ourselves on having the patient ready for transfer when they arrive, and should we not I'll get a phone call from our medical director, who is theirs as well. Handoff, put the monitor on, go. The medic/RN crews get it, the double RN crews who profusely tell us that "we're just used to the ICU" seem not to. I am far from anti-nurse and recognize the serious value they bring to the program. Unfortunately this program does not help with the scene management issues as far as we can tell.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,411
913
113
FFL definitely prizes their RN/P dual certs from what I've seen when running double RNs, but usually I see its usually RN + P crews (markedly cheaper to operate payroll wise).

I was told I'd be a good candidate RN once I had enough years of experience because I also have EMS experience.

Woah.. I just realized I have passed my 5 years of critical care (FFL minimum hiring standard for RNs). But now I don't think I want to go to rotating shifts. I'm spoiled.
 

VFlutter

Flight Nurse
3,720
1,245
113
I feel comfortable flying RN/RN however there are many nurses whom I would not want together in the back of a helicopter. It can be a hard transition for some ICU nurses with no ER/prehospital experience and if so those are not the ones whom should be flying double RN. There should be no issue with experienced flight RNs so.

What airframe does your HEMS service fly? I can do pretty much anything in-flight in my BK but the 407s are a completely different story.
 

Carlos Danger

Forum Deputy Chief
Premium Member
4,133
2,826
113
I was consistently impressed throughout my HEMS career with how well and how quickly most ICU nurses adapted to the prehospital environment.

But I mostly worked for very prehospital-oriented programs. I think it is at least as much a reflection of the culture and training of the HEMS program, as it is the individual.
 

Summit

Critical Crazy
2,411
913
113
AS350 B3e because they gotta fly over 14ers (and sometimes land on them)
 

Peak

ED/Prehospital Registered Nurse
895
499
63
We've had a few folks leave or get offers from FFL, their starting pay for medics (a few years ago) was under 50k. My base is over that and my district is far from wealthy. It's shameful, no wonder they can't keep medics.

Yep and RN pay isn't much better, it is typically only 10-15 thousand more a year. Most of the nurses that they try to recruit from us would be taking a 30-50% pay cut. I made more as a new grad RN in the ED than most of those flight nurses (the exception being those who's time with FFL/AL is measured in decades).

I am also told (grain of salt here) that it's a seriously RN heavy program and there is little advancement opportunity for paramedics. We're seeing more and more double RN crews, which would be fine if the the RN crews got some field exposure. If you sit on scene with my trauma patient for 15 minutes in the ambulance, we aren't going to call you anymore.

They pulled that when I was in fire, and 15 minutes was far from the longest time they took to package, so we stopped calling them. If I can have the patient in the hospital before you would have lifted off then you are not benefiting my patient (5 minutes to take off, 10 to fly to us, 15-20ish to package...). And it's not just in the field, I've been at some outreach sites and we had to call for them to transport to our main campus and they wanted 30 minutes to package a patient who was already intubated on push dose ketamine/versed and very ready for transport. The lack of urgency is ridiculous, its not a matter of getting the patient ready for transport, its just that everything is done at a snail's pace.

Any trauma patient? Every trauma patient? I can’t recall how you all say CO works as far as RSI goes, but that is one procedure I’d hate to feel rushed along at, let alone as if the GEMS crews wouldn’t utilize us because of that.

Clearly, I’m not privie to your system, but it just seems like a broad brush to paint with.

There are, and have been numerous calls over the past few months where sitting on scene, thinking it through, and safely and efficiently working with everyone on scene did so much more than had we’d felt, or been rushed along for the soul purpose of time savings when time savings was of no benefit to the particular patient at hand.

It's not just trauma. Strokes, headbleeds, septic neonate s/p Norwood (that is on my list of cases I will never forget, and not because of the patient)... the list goes on. I have been on the EMS side, been in outreach sites sending patients, and receiving them in our main campus. There are some great crews here, but the majority don't have a sense of urgency.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,292
2,234
113
Yep and RN pay isn't much better, it is typically only 10-15 thousand more a year. Most of the nurses that they try to recruit from us would be taking a 30-50% pay cut. I made more as a new grad RN in the ED than most of those flight nurses (the exception being those who's time with FFL/AL is measured in decades).



They pulled that when I was in fire, and 15 minutes was far from the longest time they took to package, so we stopped calling them. If I can have the patient in the hospital before you would have lifted off then you are not benefiting my patient (5 minutes to take off, 10 to fly to us, 15-20ish to package...). And it's not just in the field, I've been at some outreach sites and we had to call for them to transport to our main campus and they wanted 30 minutes to package a patient who was already intubated on push dose ketamine/versed and very ready for transport. The lack of urgency is ridiculous, its not a matter of getting the patient ready for transport, its just that everything is done at a snail's pace.



It's not just trauma. Strokes, headbleeds, septic neonate s/p Norwood (that is on my list of cases I will never forget, and not because of the patient)... the list goes on. I have been on the EMS side, been in outreach sites sending patients, and receiving them in our main campus. There are some great crews here, but the majority don't have a sense of urgency.
Lately we have had more issues with just general flusterness. I really like flight, I appreciate their community outreach and their absolute willingness to participate in SAR operation. I just wish there was more emphasis was placed on prehospital operations. But I guess for that money I'm not sure I'd be bound and determined to move forward with much personal growth.
 

Ensihoitaja

Forum Captain
340
103
43
I am also told (grain of salt here) that it's a seriously RN heavy program and there is little advancement opportunity for paramedics. We're seeing more and more double RN crews, which would be fine if the the RN crews got some field exposure. If you sit on scene with my trauma patient for 15 minutes in the ambulance, we aren't going to call you anymore.

Jeeze. We never use them (or any other HEMS agency) so most of what I know is from friends that work/have worked there.
 

BMedic

Forum Ride Along
6
4
3
Salary range in my area
Highest paying company
$28.00/hr starting 36hr's a week with shift differential. about 10% for weekends and 19% for nights....

many others range near $25/hr
 

Top