Being a paramedic in the US is a proper job, and so anyone working in emergency rescue in the United States is always a paid professional.
In Italy, however, we all know that the situation is slightly different, as only very few members of the emergency rescue associations are employed as regular employees; most rescue workers are volunteers. In a typical Italian association we might find volunteers and employees working with more or less the same intensity, while in the States this mix would hardly ever be found; all paramedics are paid employees and deal exclusively with emergency rescue and a few specific jobs like using defibrillators, immobilizing the patient and dealing with certain specific phases of an emergency rescue operation. A paramedic’s annual salary, for example in New York State, may even exceed 50,000 US dollars.
Here below you can see a round-up of pictures of the ambulances that hurtle around the streets of the Big Apple.