LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)—Michigan Ambulance providers asked state leaders to allocate money to train and recruit new first-responders.

The Michigan Association of Ambulance Services (MAAS), the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs (MAFC), and the Michigan EMS Practitioners Association (MIEMSPA) called on Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Legislature to provide $20 million dollars to cover the costs of recruiting and training at least 1,000 new paramedics and emergency medical personnel.

An EMT training program can be completed in nine weeks, while a paramedic training program takes 72 weeks to complete.

“In the midst of the staffing crisis EMS agencies across Michigan are facing, there are very few new paramedics and EMTs getting into this field,” said Jason MacDonald, MAAS President and Vice President at MedStar Ambulance Services. “Michigan EMS agencies have a plan to reverse this dangerous trend, we just need funding assistance from the state to make it happen.”

“We need more paramedics and EMTs in the field as quickly as possible to keep providing emergency response across the state,” said MAFC President Jeff Roberts, Chief of the City of Wixom Fire Department. “This funding ask would help us quickly get new recruits into the field so that we can begin to put an end to this staffing crisis.”

State leaders invested $12.9 million for EMS services in the 2022 Fiscal Year budget. Those funds will be used to increase salaries for EMS providers.