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Celina Aldermen Discuss EMS Contract And Recruiting More Workers

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Celina Aldermen Discuss EMS Contract And Recruiting More Workers

Celina officials are exploring options to find more EMS workers after several employees have left the department.

Interim Director Andy Hall presented the situation to the Board of Aldermen Tuesday. Hall said six full-time employees have quit, leaving just six workers operating emergency services in Clay County.

“Five or six are working at least 3-4 48 hour shifts,” Hall said. “I have approximately eight days where I only have one truck, and I’ve had to turn down five guaranteed paid runs.”

Hall said out of the next 80 upcoming shifts, 24 are unmanned with no workers scheduled after the 30th of this month.

“We’re the worst off that I know of because of that schedule right there,” Hall said. “We are down to the bare minimum.”

Celina has tried to retain and recruit workers by introducing holiday pay and increasing part-time wages, but Hall said the department has received zero applications. Celina Mayor Luke Collins said the staffing shortage has turned into a critical situation.

“Andy, what do you recommend that we could do to help?” Collins said. “Of course, it’s been our goal to have the best ambulance service in the Upper Cumberland and get y’all more money.”

Hall said a main concern has been the stability of the department. Celina EMS operates on a contract basis, where the county pays the city $32,000 a month for its budget. Hall said working on a contract basis creates unknowns of the future.

“I’ve been with y’all since 2007 and that’s always been a fear of mine too,” Hall said. “Every other year, we have to worry about our job, because if it (the contract) swaps over to the county, it’s not necessarily you get hired back.”

Collins said possibly reworking the contract to ensure more funding and a certain future could be a route to answer the staffing issues. Collins said he would like to plan a meeting in about two weeks with the Aldermen and EMS workers to discuss what that would look like.


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