NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The Nashville Fire Department is adding new medical units to ensure quicker response times across the city.
The new units will also provide new jobs for paramedics and EMTs.
The challenge right now is finding people to fill those positions.
Nashville Fire is working to staff three new ambulances to their fleet, which would add roughly 35 new jobs in their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division.
They are also raising the starting pay for these paramedics and EMT jobs.
NFD said they are fully staffed with the units they have right now, but to fill these new positions, they will have to recruit nationwide.
This comes as the EMS workforce faces turnover challenges.
The American Ambulance Association revealed a study in 2022 that found the overall turnover among paramedics and EMTs ranges from 20 – 30 percent each year.
NFD’s district chief used to work in real estate but left that career field to become an EMT ten years ago to make a difference.
“So many people have jobs that they go to work, they go through the motions, and they just do it to get a paycheck,” explained Matt Tidwell, district chief with Nashville Fire. “Coming to work here, I can come to work, do what I love, help people, which is also in my nature, what I love to do. I come to work and there’s a pool of problems with different things every day. I get to fix those problems.”
EMTs and paramedics in Nashville get 35 paid days off and 12-hour shifts to provide a good work-life balance. They also receive a fully funded pension.
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