If you’re a paramedic or EMT who’s thinking of relocating or would just like to learn more about life across the U.S., EMS World’s State Department is worth a look. We start with data-driven “snapshots” of each state, then add a few paragraphs about regional practices and lifestyle. Our goal is to highlight everyday aspects of potential destinations from a prehospital provider’s point of view.
Average straight-time wages: EMT $14.16/hour, paramedic $21.251
State area: 36,418 square miles
Approximate state population: 6,692,000
Rank (↓): 17
Change since 2010: +3%
Most populous cities (approximate): Indianapolis 863,000, Fort Wayne 266,000, Evansville 119,000
Violent crime one-year change: Indianapolis -8%, Fort Wayne +10%, Evansville -29%2
State violent crime rank (↑): 303
State property crime rank (↑): 243
Health rank (↓): 414
Average temperatures: Summer 72ºF, Winter 29ºF5
Top state income tax: 3.23%6
Average sales tax: 7.0%6
Average property tax: 0.82%6
Rank (↓): 306
Median home value: $146,1007
One-year change: +8.2%8
Median monthly rent: $1,1007
Average cost of electricity: $0.13/kwh8
Cost of living index: 90.5 (U.S. average = 100)9
Best states rank (↓): 3610
Approximate annual retirement cost per household: $56,00011
‘The Crossroads of America’
My wife and I have many things in common. We grew up in the Northeast—me in Boston, Helen in Brooklyn. We both chose careers in the essential services, crave any seafood that comes in a shell, and visited relatives in Indiana as teenagers during the summer of ’69. While I was exploring Indianapolis inside out from Monument Circle, Helen was vacationing with her cousins near Fort Wayne.
We enjoyed our Midwestern adventures. I liked the urban familiarity of “Naptown,” the 17th-most-populous city in the U.S.; Helen preferred the relative novelty of rural recreation and farm-fresh produce. A tree might grow in Brooklyn, but corn does not.
The Indiana of today retains a mix of major cities and off-the-grid countryside. The latter offers swimming, boating, and fishing in the summer, then snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter across a relatively flat landscape (only 8% of the state sits above 1,000 feet).
Perhaps more important for those of you contemplating relocation is Indiana’s motto: The Crossroads of America. It backs that up, too, with Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Columbus, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Nashville all within 300 miles of Indianapolis via four interstate highways (suburban Chicago actually extends into the northwest corner of Indiana). Being a hub with many spokes makes it easier to connect with the state’s two major industries: manufacturing and agriculture. The percentage of non-farm workers employed in manufacturing is the highest in the nation.
If you move to Indiana, two things you’ll need to understand are basketball and Hoosiers. Basketball attracts more attention than any other major sport, and not just at the professional level; the state invented high school hoops in 1925. As for Hoosier, that’s what you call anyone from Indiana, even if they don’t play basketball. The term allegedly comes from the frontier practice of yelling, “Who’s here?” when you’re not sure whether to shoot at whatever’s coming closer. No, I’m not making that up.
Reciprocity for EMS Providers
Indiana has roughly 24,000 EMS providers among 800 agencies answering more than 2,000 calls a year. Here’s what you’ll need to join that system:
Proof of out-of-state licensure or certification;
Up to 31.5 hours of supplementary instruction in Indiana’s motor-vehicle laws, autism spectrum disorder, SIDS, geriatrics, WMD, and hazmat;
National registry and ALS affiliation for AEMTs and paramedics;
ACLS for paramedics.
Relicensure every two years requires the following:
EMTs: 40 hours of CME, including 6 hours of audit and review;
AEMTs: 56 hours of CME, including 10 advanced hours and 12 hours of audit and review, plus skills evaluation;
Paramedics: 72 hours of CME, including 12 hours of audit and review, plus skills evaluation and ACLS.
I found some of the above information attached to a cover letter from the office of Michael R. Pence, Governor, which sort of means Indiana’s EMS providers are serving at the direction of the vice president. I can see myself using that argument to expedite transport decisions.
Speaking of transports, they can be dangerous. All those road trips people take from Indiana to someplace else make MVCs the leading cause of death in the 5–24 age group. Forty-two percent of the hospitals capable of receiving those patients are in rural areas, where EMS is mostly fire-based and volunteer-staffed. The state’s 2,000-plus ambulances need at least one EMT to roll, plus one paramedic to be considered ALS.
One EMT and one paramedic—that could have been Helen and me. Maybe we should have stayed and raised a bunch of little Hoosiers.