Local Emergency Medical Service providers like Medic EMS in Davenport are struggling to fill multiple EMT and paramedic positions. The industry has seen staffing shortages for years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic magnified the problem, as current working EMT and paramedics experienced heightened rates of burnout due to increased pressure placed on them.
“We definitely had to rely on people — EMTs and paramedics — to come in for extra time on time off,” Jeremy Pessman with Medic EMS in Davenport said.
Despite these current staffing shortages present in the Quad Cities community, local colleges say interest in the career path remains consistent.
“What we are seeing are classes of 12 to 19 students in the [EMT] program which are fairly healthy numbers for us,” Blackhawk College’s Interim EMT Program Director said.
The pandemic forced schools to pause certain elements of EMT training. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, students studying to become EMTs were unable to complete certain portions of their training, such as in-the-field experiences and clinicals.