Shortage of Paramedics and EMT’s Affecting Rural Communities
LA CROSSE, Wi. (WEAU) — Many paramedics and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will describe their jobs as demanding, yet rewarding
However, the number of people filling those roles is decreasing– even locally.
“We’re experiencing the same thing that companies are experiencing nationwide, both volunteer and professional companies,” said Kent Stein, Tri-State Ambulance operations manager. “We sometimes can run into a challenge finding EMTs and medics out of school.”
While Tri-State Ambulance says they are fine with staffing now, they have experienced recruiting challenges in the past.
Currently, Tri-State has about 30 paramedics and 20 EMTs in both full-time and casual positions.
A casual position requires only 24 hours of work each month.
A good candidate for the job is someone who is flexible.
“It’s a double-edged sword, so the unpredictability is what a lot of people like when they do this job, they don’t know what they’re going to get when they come in everyday,” Stein said.
Tri-State Ambulance says one of the reasons for the shortage could be the trauma that paramedics and EMTs sometimes experience being the first ones to arrive on scene.