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The latest news and announcements from Mayor London N. Breed

Board of Supervisors Unanimously Approves Funding to Address Emergency Medical Services Staffing Shortages

Mid-year budget supplemental will provide $2.5 million to add 50 new paramedics to fill staffing shortages

San Francisco, CA — The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to approve a mid-year budget supplemental introduced by Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Ahsha Safaí to address critical staffing shortages in the City’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division. The supplemental allocates $2.5 million for the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) to hire and train 50 new EMTs and paramedics.

“If we are going to continue to meet the emergency needs of our growing City, we must invest in the necessary staffing and infrastructure to close any gaps in public safety,” said Mayor Breed. “This critical investment will ensure that our EMS workers can quickly respond to every person that is in need, while also easing the workloads of those that have committed their careers to serving San Franciscans.”

The approved supplemental comes after an analysis conducted by the Mayor’s Office, City Controller, Fire Department, and Department of Emergency Management, which found a growing trend where City ambulances were not available to assign to emergency calls due in part to staffing shortages. Identifying the gaps in public safety, the final adopted FY 2021-22 and FY 2022-23 Budget included funding to hire 10 new paramedics. Today’s supplemental builds on this investment, bringing the total number of new paramedics to 60. SFFD currently employs approximately 200 EMS workers.

“Public safety of our residents has to be a number 1 priority for San Francisco,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí. “For too long, our Fire Department Paramedics have been overworked, understaffed, and underappreciated. Over the past year, I have worked with the Fire Chief and her team, the Department of Public Health, the Mayor’s Office, and Firefighters Union Local 798 to address these issues. Today’s supplemental will add 50 new paramedics over the next 6 months and help us address the challenges for paramedics in a proactive way. Now our residents can rest better.”

“Despite a 16% increase in call volume since 2015, new ambulance personnel have not increased to meet this demand. Adding 60 new ambulance members will help ensure the timely response and ambulance availability required by local and state regulations, as well as provide much needed relief to our current EMTs and paramedics who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic,” said Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson.

The supplemental will allocate $2.5 million to begin training paramedics in the Spring of 2022. Once training is complete, the new paramedics are expected to start responding to emergency calls in July, 2022.