HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — EMS departments in the Midstate are struggling to find new hires. It was a problem pre-pandemic, but COVID-19 has only made it worse.
“It was a challenge, to begin with, trying to get people interested in the field and now they’ve seen really the struggles that EMS goes through just every day,” said Assistant Chief of Cumberland Goodwill EMS.
During the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of EMS training programs had to shut down or shift online.
“What we’re experiencing now are people just not interested in the field anymore,” Harig said. “That program went online and it lost their interest or they are a very hands-on skills-based learner and just wasn’t able to complete something that was online
Don Kunst with Susquehannah Township EMS is feeling the impacts too. He says virtual courses have caused training to take longer during a time when medical professionals are needed most.
“We’ve had some people change careers and some of that, I believe, has been related to some of the additional stress of dealing with COVID patients on a daily basis,” Kunst said.
If you are interested in an EMS career, you can find more information on your local EMS department’s website.