How to Recruit & Retain EMTs & Paramedics

emt recruitment

Good, qualified EMTs are always in demand, but keeping them on your staff is often easier said than done. Like most positions, EMTs are looking for companies that value them and provide appropriate compensation, training, and resources to allow them to do their jobs. Unlike most office-based jobs, EMTs are saving lives. They deserve company-wide recruitment and retention strategies that cater to their expectations and preferences. 


Recruitment strategies are always first on the docket. Traditional recruiting may still bring in qualified candidates, but it is also helpful to cast a wide net. Online job postings on traditional job boards are still necessary, but consider branding out to high school job fairs, community colleges and events, and even pre-med programs. Consider partnering with local sports teams and hosting “CPR Saturdays” in the park. 

Make an effort to showcase the human side of the job and the life-changing moments while not shying away from the challenges. Online EMT personalities have found ways to make light of even the most challenging situations, demonstrating that you don’t have to avoid them. Instead, take the opportunity to show how your staff has the support they need to navigate the difficult calls. Let potential recruits see themselves as heroes in the making rather than stats on a spreadsheet. 


Now, on to retention. It’s the flip side of the coin, the practice of keeping those in blue and white by your side. According to the National Institutes of Health, the primary reasons EMTs leave their positions are: 

  1. Retirement (32%)
  2. To pursue further education for EMTs (20%)
  3. Better pay/benefits (19%)

With EMTs retiring at a fast pace, it has become increasingly important for companies to make improvements in the areas they can – specifically education, pay, and benefits. 

It’s no secret that EMTs are likely to suffer from burnout. Invest in mental health resources, not just fancy equipment. Create a culture of camaraderie, rather than competition. Implement flexible scheduling options, and pay your people what they deserve! 

Remember, they’re risking their lives in some cases – show them their worth. The pay aspect is becoming increasingly important as more and more states begin adopting pay transparency laws – it’s better to be caught paying a fair wage from the start rather than trying to play catchup later on! 

Retention Through Promotions

Don’t forget the power of internal promotions. A clear path forward is vital for both retention and recruitment. Train your EMTs up, offer paramedic programs, and create career growth opportunities within your ranks. Make sure even the newest staff members understand the path to a promotion, including what’s required and when those options become available. It’s a win-win: loyal employees, invested in your mission, and no need to start the recruitment wheel all over again.

Embrace New Technologies

Speaking of wheels, let’s not forget the power of technology. Embrace social media to share stories, highlight your staff members, and show the world the amazing things your team does. This does double duty. Not only does it increase interest in the job, but it also helps educate individuals and builds trust with the public. Make your organization a beacon of hope, a place where passion meets purpose.

So, are you ready to rewrite the narrative? To turn recruitment strategies into long-term retention rates? If you’re still feeling a little lost, well, that’s where 9-ONE-1 Marketing comes in. We have the experience you need to create an EMT recruitment strategy that works. ]