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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh paramedics are getting a pay raise under a newly approved contract.

“This agreement will place more medic units – and provide increased public safety – on Pittsburgh streets on a 24/7 basis, while keeping our promises on financial stability,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said.

The Tribune-Review reports paramedics will see a more than 17-percent pay increase, on average.

Paramedics also begin working 12-hour shifts and their coverage areas will increase in an attempt to reduce overtime.

The contract includes an optional five-year extension and a clause that would scale back paramedics’ base pay should overtime costs exceed $4.3 million, according to the Tribune-Review report.

“One of my goals over the past two years has been to boost the morale within our EMS bureau while increasing services to city residents. This agreement should do both,” Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.

The city employs 161 paramedics and 24 emergency medical technicians.

Union membership approved the contract by a 129-28 vote, according to the City of Pittsburgh.

“I really appreciate what the Mayor and the City are doing for us with this contract,” said Jeffrey M. Tremel, president of the Fraternal Association of Professional Paramedics Local 1.

The contract takes affect on Wednesday.