NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Whenever we’re facing an emergency, they’re one of the first to respond.
But New Orleans EMS is facing a bit of a crisis themselves when it comes to staffing.

“Our peak number of units is about is about 21 units a day and so with our staff, we can staff 13 to 15,” said Chief Bill Salmeron with New Orleans EMS.

Salmeron says they get additional assistance from Acadian Ambulance to help with the nearly 200 calls they receive everyday, but they’re still looking for new recruits.

Like many industries across the city, New Orleans EMS is short staffed and they’re looking for new employees. While many in the business say this is a stressful field, they also say it’s very rewarding.

“It’s high pace, it’s a high working environment but it’s also rendering care to someone’s life,” said Shevelle James with Acadian Ambulance.

James says her company is offering some initiatives to get more folks in school to become EMTs.

“We’ll pay them an incentive of $11 an hour to go to school, and then when they come out, they’ll make $16.93,” said James.

The schooling lasts seven weeks and at the end of the training graduates sign a two year contract with Acadian.

In order to work for New Orleans EMS, you need to be certified before applying. The Acadian program is willing to pay folks to get a career, which will only help understaffing.

“It’s just something that we’ll have to live with at least for the foreseeable future, do our best to build our workforce and try to provide the best compensation we can,” said Salmeron.

If you’re interested in applying for Acadian’s program, go to