Paramedic shortage hitting Tampa Bay area, prompting job fairs

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Paramedic shortages are impacting communities across the country and the Tampa Bay area is no exception.

To combat the shortage of certified and trained paramedics, local job fairs are being held to increase interest.

Earlier this year, 8 On Your Side reported that Polk County has implemented an accelerated paramedic program to attract more applicants for the shortage. But there are counties across the Tampa Bay area still in need of first responders.

According to 2018 data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, the average salary of an EMT and paramedic nationally was $34,320 annually.

The bureau also reported last year that there were 11,130 paramedics and EMTs in Florida. That means there are only an estimated 1.29 paramedics per 1,000 Floridians.

Data from Zip Recruiter shows Florida has the second-lowest average salary for its paramedics at $17.23 an hour – or $35,841 annually.

Average Paramedic Salary

Here’s a look at the average hourly salary for a paramedic by state. Hover over the bar to see the exact number.

Sources: ZipRecruiter

A quick search on Indeed.com turned up more than 30 full-time paramedic positions in the Tampa Bay area for both private organizations— such as hospitals and medical transportation companies— and public agencies.

According to the Florida Department of Health, people interested in becoming a paramedic will be required to take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians certification exam within two years of completing an approved program.

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