Detroit mayor's plan calls for 40 paramedics to be hired

Detroit mayor's plan calls for 40 paramedics to be hired

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Medic 12 answers a 911 call for help.  Mayor Dave Bing's plan calls for Detroit to hire 40 paramedics. Medic 12 answers a 911 call for help. Mayor Dave Bing's plan calls for Detroit to hire 40 paramedics.
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Detroit EMS has been plagued by ongoing problems well documented by Fox 2.  Now there is some new hope that things could turn around.

The city is promising quicker response times from EMS, and Mayor Bing is backing that promise with a new budget item -- more manpower, a move approved by the mayor's financial advisory board.

The mayor's plan says the 2013-14 budget will include filling 40 EMS vacancies immediately.

If you talk to workers at Medic 12, their response is hallelujah.

"Progress is a good thing.  We need the people.  We need the manpower.  With the addition of equipment that's coming down the road, we need the men to go in it.  If we've got people to go in it and equipment, we're going to be able to take care of the citizens like we all want," said paramedic Tim Goodman.

He is referring to the 23 new rigs being offered up to Detroit EMS by the civic group of Roger Penske, Dan Gilbert and others.

Medics in the P.O.A.M. union had been wondering aloud if new rigs were coming, who would be hired to answer the calls.

"The union welcomes everything to do with this.  The only thing the union has ever asked for is just the ability to do our job and the people and resources that we need to accomplish that goal," Goodman said.

EMS will begin taking applications.  They will consider former medics who previously resigned.  Starting pay will be in the $13 to $14 per hour range.

Paula Harris lives in Detroit and is well aware of the challenges EMS faces every single day.  Hiring 40 new positions is welcome news.

"I believe that a lot of people['s] lives could be saved... if we do have more people out to do the job with good working equipment," she said.

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