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Guilford County EMS ramps up recruitment efforts to combat shortage

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- In a matter of minutes first responders can go out on a call.

However, in a matter of months, Guilford County EMS is still figuring out ways to combat a shortage of paramedics and EMTs on staff.

Deputy Director Kyle Paschal knows the wear and tear it has on his workers.

“Morale does tend to suffer because they are so busy and sometimes after those critical calls they need just a few minutes just to decompress. We weren't able for a while and sometimes now weren't able to give them that time to decompress and get their thoughts together to go on that next emergency,” he said. "So we've increased our staffing tremendously.”

Since April, Guilford County EMS has hired 40 new paramedics and EMTs, but there are still 10 openings.

In Forsyth County, they have 17 unfilled positions which is down from 28 in April.

However, Guilford County EMS says it is already looking ahead to next year.

“Our goal is to never get that behind again and the way we are trying to combat that is even though we just hired 40, we've already scheduled our next hiring of personnel and we've done all of our scheduling for 2017,” Paschal said. "What we are looking for are people who have the passion and desire to serve others.”

Guilford County EMS does plan to make five additional hires starting next year, but encourage people who have the necessary credentials to continue to apply.