By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Civil Service Commission will hold a hearing Wednesday to consider a new classification of employee — a fire service paramedic.
The city will propose a new deployment model for paramedics and emergency medical technicians. It wants to replace one of two paramedics on city ambulances with an EMT.
The city’s Director of Public Safety Michael Resnick says the plan would increase the number of staffed ambulances available for dispatch.
“The thrust of this plan is to augment the service by hiring these fire service EMTs, pair them with paramedics so that way you spread your forces evenly throughout the city so they are not concentrated in certain areas at certain times of the day,” Resnick said.
The city also proposes to have supervisors in SUVs who are also paramedics to roll to ambulance paramedics as back up.
Joe Schulle is the President of the Firefighters and Paramedics Union Local 22.
“This is an effort to spread the paramedics more thinly throughout the city rather than hire the needed number of paramedics,” Schulle said.
The union says the proposed salary for an EMT is 30 percent less than that of a paramedic.