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From the Gathering of Eagles: A Debate on Paramedic Degrees

In this podcast recorded at the 2019 Gathering of Eagles conference in Dallas, a panel of EMS providers, led by emergency physician Ed Racht, discusses the pros and cons of degree requirements for paramedics.  Edited and recorded by Ginger Locke.


Submitted byPeter O'Meara on 03/05/2019

One of the flaws in the argument against degree-level qualifications is that the US does not have a high percentage of EMT, etc. who are the mythological 30-year veteran. Last I saw your annual turn-over was 20-25 percent. In Australia, with entry-level degrees our turn over is about 3 percent. There are still lots of experienced paramedics without degrees, although many have completed conversion degrees.

Submitted byrbruley on 03/13/2019

Peter, I have not had a chance to listen to this yet but on the surface I can comment that until the pay goes up we will never see a 30 veteran as a norm. I have been doing this EMS thing for 35 years and most recently retired from the fire service. I have been teaching EMS for 23 of those years. I have been hearing that if we change the requirements then the pay will follow. That is hogwash and it is proving itself right now. When I hired in there were 400 people for 3 slots. NOW there are 3 applicants for 3 slots. Its ridiculous. If I had to comment on a turnover rate it would be much higher than 25-30%. You can earn $10/hr at a fast food service place and not have to attend school and/or go into debt getting an education. AND, some of these places will assist you in going forward with your education through tuition assistance. Why would you go the EMS route. It is out of our hands here as the greed at the top somewhere rules and as George Carlin put it "they don't want a lot of educated people they want someone to do the job and not ask questions". This sounds cynical but I am very frustrated that so much time is spent on things that don't matter and not enough of what does! I keep pushing against the wall and I still have some fight left!!!!!!

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