A lack of paramedics and EMT’s is a nationwide problem, including here in the Tri-State.
Jobs are open in Gibson, Knox, Posey Counties and beyond.
The situation has become dire and has EMS companies scrambling to hire.
It’s the result of workers leaving the force, the shutdown of training schools, the intensity of the job, as well as under-funding.
The Emergency Medical workforce has been dealing with this shortage for years, but the pandemic has caused the issue to spiral into a crisis.
David Pond, Director of Emergency Medical Services in Gibson County, told 44News, “I don’t think EMS has ever been paid like they should have been, but it has really lagged behind in the past few years. Then you throw Covid onto it. It has just been a disaster.”
The President of the American Ambulance Association says the EMS Response System has been crippled by the pandemic.
The association says the country’s 911 system needs congressional help and has sent a letter to lawmakers requesting action.
At a local level, EMS companies are urging their communities to help out. “Call your senators and representatives and tell them what’s going on. Make sure they are aware that EMS is in big trouble,” Pond said.
EMT training takes around 4 months and classes can be found all over the Tri-State. They also say paramedic schooling typically takes two years.
Pond told 44News, “It’s a hard job. It’s emotionally hard. It’s physically hard. But people have a desire to help their fellow man. I think that’s where a lot of it starts. Then once you get into it and you go out and experience what you can do to help somebody, it’s very rewarding.”