Turnover Cited In Need To Hire EMS Personnel

By Charles Feldman, Reporter

The decision to hire two part-time EMS personnel at the Wednesday, August 7 Maryville village board meeting came on the heels the board’s July 3 decision to add three part-time EMS personnel. This came after another was added on April 17.

Probationary firefighter/paramedics and/or EMS were hired  by the board on July 3 and April 17.

Volunteer firefighters were added April 17 and February 6 and January 16.

The burning question is …why so many additions – and when will there be enough?

“We keep getting a lot of turnover with our part-time EMS,” said Deputy Fire Chief George May. “They get full-time jobs somewhere, they get busy or their schedules  change and they just don’t have the availability that they had before.

He said that happens “quite often.”  But he says it will probably not get to the point where his department doesn’t have enough people.

“We share so many people with the communities around us,” he explained. “We all share our part-time staff. Everybody works everywhere. Troy, Glen Carbon, Hamel – all kinds of different places.”

To be a full-time employee, applicants have to take an eligibility exam, May said. “To be part-time, they just have to have a paramedic and EMT license and all their credits and certification. The applications and stuff are online through the fire department’s website.

“For volunteers they’ll run a probation class,” explained Trustee Todd Bell. “We might do that once a year. Part-time EMS – we do hire them a little more often. Some will leave and we’ll pick up a couple.

“That’s just part-time guys,” he continued. “There’s no benefits. Those part-time guys normally have a full-time job somewhere else but they’ll pick up shifts in Maryville or other towns when you need a shift covered on one of the ambulances or something.”

The Maryville Fire Department does not have to worry about running short of staff, according to May.

“We’ve got our staff up to thirty, thirty-one now for the fire department so we’re doing pretty good there,” he said. “We can take up to forty, but usually about thirty or thirty-two is where we would like to be.”

The two part-time EMS personnel added at the last village board meeting are on a call list in case a situation arises where they are needed.

“We fill our schedule with those guys. We have the three full-time guys and they’re their partners,” he said.

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