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Ambulance service EMTs and paramedics in Sumter County get giant boost in pay


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AMR Regional Vice President Brett Jovanovich speaks during a committee meeting in Wildwood on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Byrnes, WMFE


Medical transport company AMR is doing what it can to improve ambulance response times and hold onto its contract in Sumter County.

And that adds up to better pay for its paramedics and EMTs.

A Sumter County committee is studying ambulance service options after seniors in The Villages complained of long delays.

AMR executives had their turn Wednesday night.

They say the slower times are tied to the pandemic and long waits at the hospitals and, especially, the nationwide staffing shortage.

Their solution? Give signing bonuses and higher pay.

Union president Stewart Eubanks says AMR recently boosted EMT wages in Sumter County by 70 percent and paramedic pay by 58 percent.

“This is the difference between, you know, the new car that they need or whether or not they’re able to buy that new house,” Eubanks said. “This is whether they put their kids through college. This is life-changing money for these folks. And it’s also a wonderful recruitment tool for us. ”

AMR says EMT starting pay is now $14.50 an hour and that translates to $32,422-$48,256 per year based upon schedule type. Paramedic wages rose to $19.50 an hour. AMR says that translates to a $43,600-$64,800 range.

Next, the committee will hear from the county’s medical director.


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

Reporter

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.

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