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Columbia County facing emergency medical worker shortage

Aug 30, 2016 6:30 am

Jeanette Wolfberg is reporting in The Columbia Paper the region could face shortages of EMS providers and firefighters, according to information presented to the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee this month. P.J. Keeler, the county EMS coordinator, reported the service already has problems finding paramedics and EMTs. Demand for them is growing in the region, he said. Keeler suggested reasons for the shortage include both pay scale and the job's increasing physical, technical and ethical demands. He said, “The demands are so great that after a certain point, people physically are unable to do it.” Paramedic and EMT duties have also increased. “Things you couldn’t do years ago are now expected,” Keeler said. To alleviate the shortage he would like to see more promotion in high schools of emergency medical service as a career. And Keeler said he would like a more consistent EMS policy countywide. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.