ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – It’s not just the St. Louis Police Department worried about losing experienced members to better-paying jobs someplace else — it’s also the St. Louis Fire Department.

The department reports it is short 15 paramedics, and many are leaving to find better paying jobs in other departments.

Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says it’s hard to keep good people.

“Medics, they’re running 25-30 calls a day and a lot of those calls are trauma-based, where there’s shootings or stabbings. It takes a toll on them,” he says. “If an opening comes up in the county … and they can increase their salary and reduce their call load, reduce the stress and their mental well-being — they jump at it.”

Related story: Local Nonprofits Oppose Tax Plan for St. Louis Police

The chief says a firefighter with experience and a paramedic license in the city makes about $55,000, but can leave for the county and make about $75,000 in other departments.

“Another $20,000 and probably half the calls.”

Jenkerson says the department is also short four firefighters due to turnover.

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