Staffing shortages are becoming a challenge for EMS workers across the state of North Dakota.
In Bismarck, concerns about the state of EMS were brought up during the 7th Annual EMS Conference.
It’s thought that about 50 percent of the EMS jobs are unfilled across the state.
Rural areas are impacted the most by staffing shortages as many of the personnel are volunteers. The pandemic has made it even more difficult to recruit volunteers and has led to others deciding not to continue volunteering.
The EMT Squad Leader of Community Volunteers says volunteers are compensated but receive just $3 an hour.
A full-time EMS volunteer spoke about why she quit teaching to help.
“Just being there for somebody in their greatest time of need, it’s a feeling I can’t explain and I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world,” said Kelli Just.
It’s hoped that by working to recruit more people and by paying for their training that the shortage in the rural parts of the state can be erased.