There’s a shortage of paramedics around the country, and it’s being felt in the Bayou State too.

Justin Cox with Acadian Ambulance says they are short 30 paramedics, which puts a serious strain on the medics who have to fill that need. Cox says turnover for paramedics is high, because it’s a demanding job.

“You’re dealing with people at their worst times, pulling people out of ditches that are mangled, etc. You’re messing with sick people, so it’s very demanding both physically and mentally,” Cox said.

Cox says it takes roughly two years to go from zero to hero and complete a rigorous training program. Starting paramedics make about $42,000 a year. He says they are offering a $15,000 signing bonus for new hires in an effort to lure people to their industry.

“The ambulance companies that are closer to the southern part of the state of Louisiana, for example, they’re challenged with competing against other opportunities, such as in the oil and gas industry and construction sites that are coming up,” Cox said.

Cox says they’re doing everything they can to recruit more paramedics. He says they’re offering incentives for medics to come to Louisiana from neighboring states. He says they also offer tuition payment for people who complete the program and come to work.

“We recruit in high schools, we participate in job fairs, and in job training for the military that are coming home, we participate in those as well,” Cox said.

To learn more about becoming a paramedic, visit