BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) — Keeping ahead of emergency calls is tough for those in the business of handling medical emergencies.
In this environment where EMS agencies nationwide are struggling to hire new workers, Lowcountry agencies are no different.
Berkeley County's Emergency Medical Services is attempting to hire 84 EMTs and paramedics, said its leader Michael Shirey. At the moment, he has several open positions for each.
“In order to make up for those shifts that are covered by employees, our existing employees pick up extra shifts," Shirey says.
Shirey says that's normal, but its becoming more common.
Despite the job openings and crews working extra hours, Shirey is pleased with the fact that all calls for help have been answered.
Shirey says, “We have not experienced anytime where we've not been able to respond to somebody's call.”
He even says they've dealt during the pandemic they've dealt with a record number of requests for help.
But, Shirey and others point out that the staffing shortages began as far back as 2017 due to lower enrollment in EMT training schools.
Berkeley County and other agencies are working with area schools, including the College of Charleston, and Explorer programs to begin training future recruits.
Charleston County says it's not experiencing a shortage, but it's trying to fill 64 new positions.
Dorchester County however, is experiencing a shortage. They have 18 job vacancies.
This article was originally posted at https://abcnews4.com/news/local/emergency-medical-services-across-lowcountry-searching-for-workers.