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EMS Worker Shortage Affecting Most Departments In The Region

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
EMS Worker Shortage Affecting Most Departments In The Region

Celina’s struggle to find EMS workers is not a unique situation as almost all Upper Cumberland departments have unfilled positions.

That is according to Upper Cumberland EMS Directors Association President Tim Booher. Booher said finding EMS workers is an issue statewide.

“The first reason or the first thing that always pops to the front of the mind is the pay scale,” Booher said. “That’s probably a piece of it. Another piece of it is the amount of time the training takes.”

Celina has lost six full-time employees creating what Mayor Luke Collins called a critical situation. Booher said Tennessee has been facing a decline since 2018, and the pandemic has not helped in that regard.

Booher said state EMS recognizes the issue. Booher said several initiatives have began at the state level such as hybrid classes that complete EMS training in 30 days.

“As a matter of fact, today just lowered the age and removed the F endorsement to 18 years of age versus 19 years,” Booher said. “They’re doing several things, and I will tell you that last year according to the state department of EMS they actually licensed more people than retiring licenses.”

Booher said out of the Upper Cumberland region, Warren County is the only department not short staffed. Booher said a large opportunity to work in EMS is happening in the region right now. Booher said EMT courses are being offered at the service level.

“Putnam County may have just completed the first one there at the ambulance service,” Booher said. “That’s where the class is actually taught at the service. They were allowed to take 10 enrolees from Putnam County and then from the surrounding counties an additional 10 for a total of 20 doing EMT basic class. That is a part of a legislative effort from a couple years ago and the pandemic slowed that down, but they were able to put that class on this year.”

Booher said moving forward, there are legislative efforts to expand that class size.

The post EMS Worker Shortage Affecting Most Departments In The Region appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.