DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Like every other job after the pandemic, employers faced the challenges to keep staff every shift, and Davidson County paramedics are no different.

Former employers tell FOX8 they felt the burden of being overworked because they were short-staffed.

“I’ve been on a call, and I had a really sick patient that, “hey, I may need more hands than I have,” and I know in the back of my mind we don’t have the staffing for that,” said Will Vest, former Davidson County paramedic.

Vest said that some days, he would go on a call and wait for backup to arrive for nearly 30 minutes to help in timely situations. He said there should be 25 people on a shift. However, it became a rare sight because of the shortage.

“Davidson County was known to be the best around at the time. They had the best pay. They had the best management, the best providers,” Vest said.

Vest said besides the overburden because of staffing, his tipping point for leaving the company and going to another was the low pay.

As of Oct. 28, there are 14 EMS fill-time vacancies out of 80 positions and four part-time vacancies out of 48.

Vest said it’s a complete difference in pay, and people have gravitated to bigger counties like Forsyth and Guilford for more money and better opportunities.

“I’ve noticed a difference in myself between the amount of stress that I had working for the county and the amount of stress that I have now that’s night and day,” Vest said.