By Robert Roy, Paramedic
EMS Shortage a Nationwide crisis
By Robert Roy, NREMTP
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Emergency preparedness education
industry is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028. Emergencies, such as car crashes,
natural disasters, acts of violence, and fire, will continue to require EMTs, paramedics, and
firefighters. However, due to the recent stresses placed on the operational responders already in
the field, as well as the healthcare system as a whole, the burnout and attrition rate for first
responders and medical professionals have far outpaced the ability of existing education
programs to replenish the decaying workforce.
The following table shows an example of the current need within New York City alone, as well as
the country as a whole.
To bring the career field back on track by 2028, EMS education centers (colleges, private
institutions, etc) in the New York City area alone will have to train and certify at least 1,440 new
EMS professionals per year. With the current National Registry pass rates sitting around 60%,
this means graduating over 2,000 candidates per year. Currently, there are roughly 17 EMT
schools in the entirety of New York City, which could feasibly do two classes per year each. With
commonly accepted instructor – student ratios taken into account, this would mean 10 students
per certified lab instructor (CLI) and roughly 20 students per class. At this rate, only 680 students
would generally complete the training per year, and only a fraction of those would go on to be
successful at the National Registry.
We believe that with additional programs for people to choose from, especially those like ours,
more students will enter the training and become certified. Also to this end, ARES has built a high school focused program designed to train 9-10th grade students to the EMR level, followed by EMT at the 11-12th grade years. We believe that providing the opportunity for students to achieve this certification by the time they graduate high school will help breathe new life into a crumbling field. This will also move up the time-table for increasing the number of AEMTs and Paramedics in the field, as those programs require EMT as a prerequisite.