Ambulance districts in central and northeast Missouri are facing staffing issues.
Audrain Ambulance District Administrator Graeme Goodwin says his agency is looking for temporary part-time paramedics to fill in gap shifts while they wait for some full-time employees to return to work.
Staffing issues can be attributed to multiple factors according to Goodwin.
Callaway County Ambulance District Administrator Charlie Anderson and Montgomery County Ambulance District Administrator Dave Colbert echo Goodwin’s assessment and also cite the rising cost of paramedic school.
In the past, ambulance districts could teach paramedic classes locally, many of them at night so students could continue to work a day job, but accreditation regulations have changed, making that a thing of the past.
Classes are now taught at colleges or tech schools during the day, making it difficult for someone to attend class and maintain another job.
According to all three administrators, rural ambulance districts find it difficult to compete with urban ambulance services that can offer medics a higher salary.