That EMT Who Saved Your Life Might Be Making Barely More Than the Minimum Wage



Capitalism kills.


You know, once upon a time in this country we had these things called "unions".


SO, you're talking about Cabulance drivers, and the awful companies that run them, right.? Because The SFD EMT's make quite a bit more than 15 per hour, and they earn every cent. These cabulance folks? Good luck, you get what their corporate overlords pay for,,,


Hang on, you say they're PAYING those EMTs now?

Man, the kids have it good these days. It used to be mostly volunteers riding around in those things.


@3 Yeah, the article doesn't inform the reader about the differences between EMTs and paramedics but the basic point stands that these companies take advantage of people willing to deal with shit wages and conditions for a chance to get to the next step (most will never see). Not a totally foreign concept in our society but these folks do occasionally deal with life and death situations... not arguing with ya—like you said, you get what you paid for.


emts spending waaaaaaaay too much time reviving junkies.


More proof that our values and priorities are getting more out of kilter with every passing day.


@6 so you support safer drug consumption sites in your neighborhood I presume?


Capitalism is an abject failure.

All that needs to be said.


Wow. I gotta laugh reading the comments. One more time the overpaid, overprivileged, and entitled are blaming those who are shamefully underpaid for being underpaid.

If there is justice in the universe, one of you elitists will die in the back of an ambulance while one of these underpaid health care workers is trying desperately to save your sorry ass life.


Well, now I'm going to feel obligated to tip my EMT should I ever need one.


Being a part time firefighter, I know all too well the low wages in the industry. Only approximately 20% of the fire/ems system in the country is Union with good wages. The rest are part time without benefits or total non-paid volunteer. There's definitely an exploitation of these people's good will and sense of duty. Why do it? Because nobody else will... Not asking for riches but maybe enough money so these kids don't have to work three jobs like many do. What's so wrong with that? I'm constantly missing birthdays, parties, holidays, etc for people to have someone to turn to when their life gets crazy. My highest paid year GROSS was $16K for the year. That's not just shift work, but many, many call backs while at home or out and about. We're always on call ...


Boo! Let's pay essential public servant a fair wage and skip some of the other ancillary bullshit and administrator-heavy projects.


@11, well wait to tip until you see how their service was.


Typical Stranger distortion of the facts. AMR employees mainly provide transport and support for the Seattle Fire Department. In incidents like car crashes, shootings, or other serious injuries, the fire department responds and renders aid. If it is serious enough, Medics respond. AMR EMTs transport non-life threatening cases to the hospital. The Medics transport the life-threatening cases. AMR EMTs provide an important service and are a hard working bunch, but there is a big difference between SFD EMTs and Medics, and AMR EMTs. Most AMR employees are working towards joining the fire department or becoming a paramedic.


The only way to pay for the increased cost of the city contract with AMR is a regressive tax. So, isn’t this just forcing our baristas to pay for a better quality of life for our EMT’s?


How about in Ga where they make 10.50


@16 oh no not that! There it is. The KIRO talk radio appeal to our heroic or beleaguered or villainous - depending on the issue - baristas!

It’s also a tax on our rapists. It’s also a tax on our serial killers. Take that rapists!

It’s also a tax on Rick stars. And billionaires. And shoe sales people.


Guess what? We are racing our baristas to pay for our nuclear missiles, too!

Oh for fuck sake what stupid fucking argument.


“Rock Stars.” (But Rick stars, too.)


Fuuuuuck. Auto correct. Racing=taxing. Barista races is a good idea though.


@18 That's good news, I was under the impression that the conventional wisdom here was that regressive taxes were bad--I mean, wasn't that the whole deal with the head tax? Now that regressive taxes are good, can we muster up some funding to build low-income housing? I understand there's a need for that sort of thing.


wow super old news here, I am an EMT in South Carolina. Here most services offer between 11 and 13 dollars an hour. smh .


This is exactly what the experts, as well as other intelligent people, said would happen. Once you raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, those that were already making that much money would start complaining that now, all of a sudden, they arent making enough money either. Now, those people are crying to the socialist leaders in Seattle that have never had the pleasure of running a business, to do something about it. So, their solution is to simply raise taxes so that the cry babies can get a raise.

So glad I moved away from that area.


Holy Crap here we go again.....

Wouldn't it be simpler to grant Sawant the power of eminient domain to take private property and set all rates for private parties.

We can dispense with private property rights laid down since the time of Magna Carta and while we are at it just toss the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and those other antiquated documents on the fire.

We won't even need government because the great and all powerful Sawant knows what's best for all of us.

Just an aside, wasn't Sawant who said $15Now would solve all the problems and provide a living wage for all....hmmm? Now it seems that isn't the case at all.....does mommy know best?



I believe most AMR EMT's are unionized; I know those in SW WA are represented by the Teamsters, and some in King County are repped by WSNA. That said, it's still pretty low-wage work, given the nature of the job.


That may be because there's a significant difference between paramedics and EMT's, mainly, in that the former are authorized to pierce skin: give injections, draw blood, start intravenous lines, etc., in addition to requiring advanced certifications in a number of areas. However, in many cases the cost of the additional training can be prohibitive, and generally doesn't pencil out unless one can get hired on at a FD.


Hi Ikari, if you're going to troll the comments section from somewhere else then perhaps you should learn your facts. While the minimum wage isn't quite at exactly $15/hour for everyone in Seattle yet, it is significantly higher than the federal wage. Yes, nearly double.


@25 I'm aware, was just pointing out the article was leading people to conflate the two different jobs.


In NH we get 10 per hour. That's why we work 100 hours per week.


This person has only been on the job for a year. He's got no business asking for anything and being interviewed on top of that. What does he want anyways? You don't open your mouth to the world and tell everybody you're in counseling because you saw something bad once your one year on the job. Get over yourself. If you don't like what you do maybe take yourself and your raptor shears(1 year on the job and he probably bought a $70 pair of scissors that he'll lose) and go find something else.


AMR and other ambulance companies are starter jobs in the emergency medical community. Yes they do get paid low wages, but they are not doing the same work as Fire Department EMTs. King County is a three tiered system. Closest fire station unit, Aid Car or Fire Engine. Then Fire Department Paramedic unit. Finally if patient is BLS transport, an ambulance company might transport. The base work for an ambulance company is inter-facility transports. Taking patients from nursing homes to a medical appointments. Getting a job with an ambulance company is stepping stone to other medical jobs.