Randolph County in need of more EMTs

RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. -- Randolph County Emergency Services is on a search for more emergency medical technicians. EMS officials said it's important for them to fill these vacancies as soon as they can.

EMS crews work around the clock, providing service to people from all over Randolph County.

“It's important for us to have adequate personnel," said Maj. Brian Beck, of Randolph County EMS.

Right now, the department needs to fill eight additional positions, four part-time and four full-time. It takes a team of 87 people for this department to be fully staffed. Each truck that goes out on a call has two certified people on board, an EMT and paramedic.

Beck said the goal is to have more personnel in the trucks, that way they have extra hands on deck, which is important in a rural area like Randolph County.

“The distances that we have to travel to get to our hospitals, a lot of times we're with our patients for an extended amount of time, and we do end up providing a lot of care for our patient," Beck said.

He said it's even more important to have a complete crew now as the weather starts turning more dangerous.

“We also put on additional units when we have a severe weather event," Beck said. "When we have an unexpected severe weather event, such as a strong thunderstorm, flash flooding or tornadoes, it's really important that we have people to call back and put on trucks at a short notice."

While the county needs people, they won't take just anyone to fill a position.

“You're always looking for someone who's dedicated and somebody who's reliable because you want them to be here and be prepared when their shift starts," Beck said.

These shifts last 24 hours, which can be very tough on the EMTs.

“Twenty-four hours is a really long time. Our personnel are up from six o'clock in the morning, when they get up to eat their breakfast and get ready to come to work. Then they start their shift at eight, and sometimes they don't go to bed until 10 o'clock the next morning," Beck said.

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