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Sunstar Paramedics’ $35K Retention Plan Marks 5 Years


LARGO, FL—In October 2015 Sunstar Paramedics developed its 5/35 Bonus Plan, a recruitment and retention initiative developed to retain paramedics. The plan was designed to pay $35,000 to enrollees if they stayed with Sunstar for 5 years.

The program has received national attention as EMS agencies throughout the country have adopted similar programs to boost recruitment and retention.

“The retention bonus is a win-win for Sunstar and those who enroll and complete the program. It is designed to reduce the cost of turnover, which plagues the EMS industry, and to provide a significant financial payout for the enrollee,” says John Peterson, COO of Sunstar.

In addition to the 5/35 plan, Sunstar has added the 3/6/9 Bonus Plan, with payouts at 3, 6 or 9 years, which offers a more lucrative financial reward if enrollees stay the entire 9 years.

To commemorate the completion of the initial 5/35 plan, Sunstar held a ceremony Oct. 21, 2020, for the first 15 paramedics to complete the program. The families of the paramedics were invited to participate as Sunstar presented the checks.

Sunstar is the 9-1-1 ambulance transport service for all Pinellas County residents, employing 750 Tampa Bay residents and responding to approximately 520 calls per day. Sunstar’s team is heavily involved in Pinellas communities, focusing largely on safety programs for the public and for schools. Sunstar is a prior recipient of the Florida Governor’s Sterling Award, the state’s most prestigious award recognizing “role models for organizational performance excellence.” Visit

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