GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Two years after the state authorized non-certified staff to operate an EMS vehicle, Guilford County Emergency Medical Services have begun to do just that to offset the ongoing staffing shortage.  

In March of 2020, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced it would temporarily suspend GC 1313E-158.  

That is a requirement that, at minimum, two credentialed EMS professionals must be in an ambulance. With the suspension, there will only need to be one credentialed EMS professional, accompanied by an individual who is not credentialed, and who will not be responsible for any aspect of patient care outside of driving the ambulance. 

In July, GC EMS moved forward and adopted this method.  

It did so because it has a team of seven people who are currently in the process of being certified and are already on trucks in some capacity.  

Those EMTs cadets are weeks away from certification.  

The position they were in prior to the decision was as a third pair of hands on a truck that would typically consist of a team of two trained paramedics.  

This move will allow one of those paramedics to move to another vehicle to operate, and that EMT cadet will oversee second duties up until the point that they have been trained for while also driving an ambulance  

Currently, GC EMS runs roughly 23 trucks per day and has 40 open positions.  

The move, while temporary, will allow roughly 14 additional trucks to be in service and respond to calls.  

This move is expected to expire sometime in August.