Harford County Takes Action To Combat Emergency Services Worker Shortage
HARFORD COUNTY - Harford County is working to address the lack of emergency services workers. WYPR reports that the county has hired 24 EMTs and 28 paramedics since January, providing bonuses to attract workers.
The shortage of EMTs and paramedics has affected municipalities nationwide. According to a 2022 American Ambulance Association study, nearly 40% of part-time EMTs and 55% of part-time paramedic positions went unfilled because of a lack of qualified candidates.
Harford County previously contracted the EMS Foundation to hire emergency services workers. In 2022, the organization said it could no longer perform that role, leading to the county creating its own hiring system.
According to Rick Ayers, director of Harford County Emergency Services, the county is providing a $5,000 bonus to all employees after they complete their probationary period.
Ayers added that the county still needs 16 more paramedics and 17 EMTs to reach full capacity.