EMS recruitment strategies for managers

EMS recruitment is an important part of any manager's job and it is especially true in an industry like EMS where the average age of workers is over 40 years old

EMS recruitment is an important part of any manager's job. This is especially true in an industry like EMS where the average age of workers is over 40 years old.

Anyone in the EMS field knows that EMS managers have more than enough on their plate, so developing a targeted recruitment strategy is the best way to make the effort count.

Some states such as Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada are having serious shortages of EMS personnel. They cite burnout, inadequate pay and low benefits as some of the reasons for the shortfall. Another reason is attrition because paramedics become discouraged by the large number of non-emergency calls they spend time on.

These states, among others, are developing strategies to increase recruitment levels. One of these EMS recruitment strategies includes working with local schools to create 'shadowing' programs in which high school students spend time at the station house and accompany EMS workers on calls.

Other states have developed 'Junior EMS' training programs in their EMS recruitment strategies to increase interest in becoming paramedics and EMTs among young people.

These types of programs allow EMS professionals to reach out to kids and provide them with exposure to the possibility of becoming part of EMS at the point in their lives when they are starting to focus on their future career choice. People who join at a young age can put in decades of EMS service before leaving the field.

Another strategy in states such as Georgia, where the minimum age for EMS work is 18 years old, is finding a way to make insuring them to drive emergency vehicles more affordable. In many states, the rates for auto coverage for EMS personnel under the age of 21 is cost prohibitive. This results in under-21 EMTs and paramedics being unable to take on driving duties, thus limiting the desirability of hiring this age group. Lowering auto insurance costs for the 18 to 21 demographic opens up the field when it comes to hiring younger workers.

Partnering with other emergency providers in an advertising campaign is another EMS recruitment strategy. Partnerships lower promotional costs for everyone and provide benefits to all participating agencies. Promoting the industry as a whole in a coordinated effort helps to bring more people into the field of EMS.

Enlisting voluneerts to help with EMS recruitment efforts is another great strategy. The burgeoning number of Baby Boomers at retirement age means there are plenty of skilled, capable people wanting to volunteer in a way that makes a contribution to their community. Enlist their help in recruitment efforts at job fairs, community events and school functions. Develop a recruitment kit to help volunteers relay accurate information in the most effective way.

Many state and local governments can help in funding EMS recruitment campaigns for agencies. A little bit of research goes a long way when it comes to finding out what resources might be available for EMS recruitment.


Toolkit (PDF): http://www.canton.edu/


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