Wyandotte County giving firefighter/paramedics raises

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Kansas City Kansas Fire Department and the International Association of Firefighters, Local No. 64 (IAFF) have reached agreement on a compensation package for firefighter-paramedics.

Firefighters are going to get a 9% salary increase when they go from EMT to paramedic. Right now that’s only worth a 1% pay raise.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County said the changes are necessary to ensure that the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department can attract and retain paramedics.

The letter of understanding with International Association of Firefighters, Local No. 64, outlines several changes. They say the 9% increase reflects the additional training required to obtain a Paramedic certification, and the tight labor market for paramedics as they are also more in demand in the medical fields.

As part of the agreement they also are announcing hiring incentives for new hires with a paramedic certification and incentives for new hires who lack a paramedic certification to achieve it.

County Administrator Doug Bach said Monday he was pleased with the agreement.

“Paramedics play a key role in providing lifesaving care for our residents. With these changes, we can more competitively compensate our KCKFD paramedics,” he said.

“This agreement enhances our ability to attract new paramedics and to retain the ones currently serving Kansas City, Kansas. Paramedics are invaluable members of our department and play a crucial role in patient care to the community where they reside and proudly serve,” Chief Michael Callahan said.

Even though firefighter paramedics are getting increased raises, not everyone at KCK fire stations are right now. The UG says it will continue to work towards a multi-year contract with the rest of the fire department.

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