Pike County Ambulance Service fully staffed - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Pike County Ambulance Service fully staffed

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Pike County Ambulance Service Pike County Ambulance Service
An ambulance leaving the station An ambulance leaving the station
A paramedic checking supplies in the ambulance A paramedic checking supplies in the ambulance
The back of one of the ambulances The back of one of the ambulances
6 EMT's and 6 Paramedics are on staff full time in Pike County 6 EMT's and 6 Paramedics are on staff full time in Pike County
PIKE COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -

For the first time in recent history, residents in Pike County will have a fully staffed ambulance service.

Now emergency officials are promising better services with more employees.

EMT's like Josh Forbis have been putting in longer hours because they have been understaffed. He said the added stress weighs on everyone.

"It has been a challenge due to the fact that a lot of guys are getting overworked, been here long hours, like 72 plus hours a week," Forbis said. "So it really strains on the employee morale."

It's been a problem for several years. The previous administration increased employee pay to attract more applicants. Now Forbis said it will be nice to be on a normal schedule, allowing more time to unwind and regroup for the next shift.

"Now that everybody is a little bit sharper mentally, they can be refreshed and should be better patient care for sure," Forbis said.

Six paramedics and six EMT's are full time now. Ambulance Administrator Josh Martin said there won't be any gaps in service.

"We are just making sure that we can maintain two advance life-support ambulances," Martin added. "In years past, there's been some issues where they are running two EMT's instead of an EMT and paramedic."

Now being fully staffed, Martin said the money spent on overtime can now go to other places.

"This will hopefully allow for future updates of equipment and supplies, so on and so forth."

Martin said he expects to be fully staffed for a long time because getting qualified employees can be hard to find.

"It goes in spurts," Martin added. "There's shortages of EMT's and paramedics, more on the paramedics side just simply due to the training and some of the responsibilities that goes along with it."

Martin said starting next week, six part-time EMT's will start training as well and he expected some of them to earn their paramedics license.

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