Broome County Still feeling the Shortage of EMT’s and Paramedics
CHENANGO FORKS (WBNG) -- “I found that a lot of the information actually transferred over to fieldwork when we are dealing with those sensitive cases” said Michelle Elsmore, a Junior studying Neurobiology at Binghamton University.
Elsmore was not on campus, rather standing in a large room within the Chenango Ambulance Services building in Chenango Forks. She works with the company while continuing her work at the university.
She says she felt inspired to work in the EMS field following a traumatic incident she experienced with a close friend. Now in that role, Elsmore says both her school and work are able to compliment each other.
“I like to think of it as; I’ve been a guest in many homes, and so that feeling of having someone trust you with their medical care and listen to you, as well as the academics and kind-of brain stimulating part of being able to make medical decisions, and make someone feel better is been extremely rewarding” she said.
On the national stage, paramedics and EMT’s have been in high demand since the pandemic began. It is affecting those in Broome County as well. President of Chenango Ambulance Services Frances Morris says she has seen staffing shortages not only at her building, but other companies in the area too. She says some of the issues fall on the state level too.
“It’s (ambulance services) not considered an essential service so we don’t receive any public funding. So it’s always a challenge to provide the best service for a community with limited resources” said Morris.
Bryan Heller is the Assistant Chief with the company, he adds that due to pay, many full-time EMT’s and Paramedics will spend time working for more than one organization.
“Depending on where you are you’re either doing two 24-hour shifts or four 12-hour shifts or four 10-hour shifts you just have to imagine the mental strain that puts on somebody. When I have to work for eight hours a week and come back and work for 12 hour shifts day after day, I’m going to tell you on my fourth day of work, I’m pretty tired” said Heller.
Both Heller and Morris say they don’t see the problem ending any time soon. For the time being, they say they would like to be able to recruit more people to become part of their organization.
Morris says they welcome people with little to no experience and will help them train to become an EMT, Ambulance Driver, or Paramedic.
For more information you can visit their website here.