Seneca County EMS dangerously understaffed

Report by Dick Berry - email
Posted by LS

SENECA COUNTY (WTOL) - It's a dangerous situation for the Seneca County emergency medical services.

The county has 140 volunteer paramedics on it's roster, but only about thirty respond to calls.

The volunteer shortage has prompted Majors to ask county commissioners to hire a full time paramedic at a price tag of $60,000.

Seneca County EMS Director Ken Majors says it's not an effort to replace volunteers but to support them. "It would ease the burden of those volunteers and it would automatically increase our standard of care on every scene we have."

All this came to a head recently when a woman needed help with a breathing problem. The closest medical squads were all out of service. She eventually got help but died later in the week.

Seneca County is one of the few remaining counties in Ohio with an all-volunteer EMS.

"Ken's solution is what I consider a band-aid approach to what we're going to have to address," says Seneca County Commissioner David Sauber.

One possible plan is to hire full-time paramedics.

Sauber though sees one other scenario he considers economical and efficient. "I see us doing a possibly incentive-type thing for the volunteers that when they do a run, they're paid. To run as a volunteer."

In the meantime, the call continues for additional volunteers.