Wake County to Lead in Pay in North Carolina for EMS Personnel

Facing a higher demand for services, a national staffing shortage and increased competition for employees, Wake County is taking new steps to recruit and retain the best and brightest emergency medical services personnel.

On April 1, approximately 327 Wake County EMS employees – representing 84% of staff – will see their salaries increase as part of a new market pay structure approved today by the Wake County Board of Commissioners. The raises range from 1% to 29%, with an average increase of 21%.

These proactive changes will make Wake County EMS a leader in pay in North Carolina.

“Wake County residents expect and deserve top-notch emergency care, and that’s what Wake County EMS provides,” said Matt Calabria, Wake County commissioner and chair of the Commission’s Public Safety Committee. “In a competitive economy, we can’t keep up a high level of service if we don’t invest in our first responders. The steps we take today will help us recruit and retain first-rate EMTs, paramedics and other personnel, and will better keep residents healthy and safe for years to come.” 

Staying competitive in the employee marketplace has been a focus for Wake County, with staff undertaking several compensation studies in recent years. After evaluating EMS salaries, they recommended:

  • Revising the salary schedules – the pay levels that employees can achieve – for most positions;
  • Increasing the minimum pay rate for market ranges for most positions;
  • Raising the salary band midpoints and maximum pay; and
  • Creating a new Advanced Emergency Medical Technician position to offer EMTs an opportunity to grow in their careers.

“By showing our staff that we value them and support them, we empower them to go out every day and do their jobs to the best of their ability,” said Wake County EMS Director Chris Colangelo. “We’re excited about what these changes will mean to our employees, the Wake County EMS System as a whole and the residents of Wake County.”

These amendments will cost the county $1.4 million for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 and $5.7 million in fiscal year 2023, which begins July 1, 2022.

Press Release