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Getting tougher to fill EMT positions in Greene County

Jul 28, 2021 6:00 am

Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Emergency Medical Technician shortage is a growing problem in Greene County. “There’s not enough staffing and not enough money out there to put a crew on, so when there is a shortage, you have to get people from somewhere — someone has to go,” Greene County Legislature Chairman Patrick Linger said Mon., July 26. “It’s a big problem right now in the county.” One of the issues is that the pay rate for EMTs is not competitive with other employers, Greenville Town Supervisor Paul Macko said. “They can go to a Stewart’s Shop or Cumberland Farms for that much and more,” Macko said. Nadine Myrdycz, EMS chief at the Town of Coxsackie Ambulance, said her agency has several part-time openings. “We don’t have a lot of applicants,” Myrdycz said. “Every agency probably within New York state is short. I don’t know if it is because of the lack of courses because of COVID or people moving on to other careers like working with paid fire departments or working as paramedics, or moving on to medical or PA (physician’s assistant) school.” The number of applicants for new positions with the Greene County Paramedics is declining, President Mark Evans said. “We have not experienced a severe shortage at this point, but the pool of paramedics out there available to be hired is certainly very small,” he said. The town of Coxsackie was able to fill two full-time openings this year through the civil service list, Town Supervisor Rick Hanse said. “Our employees have civil service protection and we have a very generous health insurance plan, which I think is a motivating factor for a lot of people looking for work,” he said. Evans said a concerted recruitment effort is needed to bring new people into the profession. One way to do that is to utilize volunteers to give them an opportunity to explore the field and decide if it is right for them, he said. In 2019, EMTs and paramedics responded to 8,432 calls in Greene County. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.