Can't say I have too much experience with this but in the western NY area the pay is "livable" I'm starting out at around 12-13/hr as an EMT-I with absolutely no experience. Medics can do pretty decent, it all really depends on where and who you work for..........I've seen some oil rig medics pull in almost 6 figures.
As others have said, it depends on your location. I can tell you about my personal experience with working IFT BLS in the SF Bay Area. I have been at several companies and have buddies in other local companies as well. The small mom and pop operations will pay about $11/hr. Some of the larger companies will offer you as much as $16-18. Some companies offer call bonuses and others do not.
Come to Austin... our EMT's are starting out almost 40k a year (in fact, my partner will clear 50k easily with overtime he's worked) all 911, civil service, pension, nice place to live, lower cost of living compared to many areas. Go to the city website for the next recruitment process.