Erie’s Emergycare takes action to recruit first responders during national EMS worker shortage

Local News

There is a national EMS worker shortage and Erie’s Emergycare is taking action to recruit more first responders to save lives.

We went to Erie’s Emergycare to discuss more about how the medical non-profit is battling to recruit more potential workers.

The organization is hosting a paid EMT Academy beginning this fall in hopes to have a full staff.

The COVID era has brought a lot of shortages in almost every profession, including the field of saving lives, emergency medical services.

That is why Erie’s Emergycare is taking the initiative to establish a program to recruit 12 students from the Erie area that are 18 years or older.

The president of the non-profit said that the need is vital. The president said that when he first began volunteering back in the 70’s, there were 350,000 to 400,000 volunteers in Pennsylvania, but those numbers have drastically changed.

“Today it’s like 35,000 volunteers. So it is a tremendous drop again,” said Bill Hagerty, President of Emergycare.

Hagerty hopes that students getting the hands on 32 hour experience along with getting paid $13 an hour will lessen the worries of the EMS staffing crisis.

“We have 11 stations, 35 ambulances, 250 through 300 employees, so the future is bright. We need to get over the staffing issue because that’s what is in front of us today, was in front of us five years ago. We’ve solved that issue and now it has come back again,” said Hagerty.

The goal of the program is to make sure that there are enough first responders to save a life.

“And provide the best care of people when they’re sick and in time of need so keeping our ranks full, recruiting people in who have that passion is important,” said David Basnak, Assistant Director for Emergycare.

So if you are that person whose heart is in making a difference and serving others, Erie’s Emergycare is asking to not hold back and apply.

“You like helping people and want to drive an ambulance or a wheelchair or just one of the other, come see us. We want you,” said Hagerty.

The academy will begin on September 27th and go through November 19th.

For more details on how to apply to the program, click here.

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