‘We’re really limited by the labor pool right now’: Guilford County EMS crews continue to struggle to keep up with call volumes

Piedmont Triad News

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Triad EMS crews fight to fill positions as the pandemic continues to put a massive strain on hospitals, first responders, and emergency medical service crews.

Last month, Guilford County EMS responded to roughly 8,000 calls for service, which is a thousand more calls than in the months before it.

In August, calls volumes hit a record of 302 calls, before they broke that record two days later with 303 calls for service.

“We just simply don’t have enough resources,” said Jim Albright, the director for Guilford County EMS. “We’re really limited by the labor pool right now. … We’ve got to figure out ways to address that, both through recruitment and through retainment.”

There are several positions open between EMS crews across the Triad. They not only have to compete against one another from a “small hire pool,” but also against hospitals that need staff to deal with the increased number of patients.

“We are seeing that the hospital census is very high, and it’s difficult right now to handle that due to the lack of staff we’re all dealing with,” Albright said.

EMS crews have also seen a slight uptick in the number of patients they have to re-route between hospitals, which takes up resources and time they may not always have.

Guilford County has had to rely on other county crews to help respond to calls in rural parts of their county, and has had to receive help from firefighters in transporting patients.

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