Va. EMS hires 13th female paramedic, dept. record high

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported around 33 percent of EMTs and paramedics are female

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services reached a department record high after hiring its 13th female paramedic this summer.

The department has hired six paramedics since July and currently employs 32 paramedics, 13 of whom are women. There are also 60 volunteer paramedics, 19 of whom are women, reported the Southside Daily. Last year, the department employed 12 female medics. 

“Since we implemented career medics, this is the highest number of women we’ve had on staff,” Retention Officer Susan Palmer said. 

Palmer said that the increase in female paramedics taking paid positions in the city is due to an increase in volunteering. 

“I think more women are trying to do it (become paramedics),” Palmer said. “I think it opens doors for women to be able to come in.”

Of the 220,000 EMTs and paramedics employed in 2015, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 33 percent were women. 

“I think it shows there is a definite change in the culture of what used to be a predominantly male field, like firefighting and being a paramedic,” Virginia Beach paramedic Brett Johnson said. 

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