Ark. city approves 1st paramedic pay raise in 10 years
The $10,000 pay increase will affect 47 members of the firefighting staff and will cost the city an additional $78,312 for the rest of 2019
By News Staff
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — City paramedics will receive a $10,000 raise which will go into effect this July, thanks to a city council vote to increase salaries for the first time in 10 years.
According to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, in order to receive the raise, paramedics are required to be on staff with Bentonville fire stations that have assigned ambulances. The pay increase will affect 47 members of the city’s firefighting staff and will cost the city an additional $78,312 for the rest of 2019.
"Over the past few years, local fire departments with ambulance services have raised their paramedic certification pay to be able to attract and retain certified paramedics," Bentonville Human Resources Manager Ed Wheeler said. "In this competitive job market in Northwest Arkansas, having adequate pay and compensation is critical to maintain those highly trained first responders that provide emergency, life-saving care."
Wheeler believes the amount of paramedic training, coupled with annual recertification and continuing education, makes it difficult to attract talent without competitive pay. "Paramedic training takes a minimum of 12 months [of] specialized education and several years of hands-on experience," Wheeler said. "Additionally, there's annual recertification and continuing education that paramedics have to get to maintain their certification."
The city hopes the increase in pay will help with employee retention and recruitment.