White House petition asks for national EMS minimum wage

The petitioners ask the Obama Administration to establish a minimum wage of $15/hour for EMTs and $20/hour for paramedics

NEW YORK — A petition, submitted to the Obama Administration, asks for a federally mandated minimum wage for EMTs and paramedics.

The petition was created by Dave Konig, a New York City EMS provider and blogger, and published Monday. To be considered by the White House it needs 100,000 signatures by March 2, 2016.

The petition states that, being the source of income for EMS providers largely dependent on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to agencies, EMS personnel should qualify as providers of a service to the States and the Federal Government.

The petitioners ask that EMTs be paid a minimum of $15/hour and paramedics a minimum of $20/hour.

Currently, the median pay of an EMT is $15.24/hour. The petition says EMS providers’ work is significant enough to warrant a higher wage due to the training required, the number of hours typically worked, and the nature and conditions of the work.

The petitioners ask President Barack Obama to sign an Executive Order mandating that any EMS agency receiving reimbursement for services through the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services be mandated to pay their EMTs and paramedics said minimum wage. They further ask that failure of those agencies to comply result in their disqualification from receiving reimbursement.

"We, the undersigned, believe that such an Executive Order would result in an improvement of service quality, a reduction in turnover, and an increase in industry-wide morale, all of which would ultimately realize a higher productivity in healthcare that could be a true source of cost savings," the petition states.

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