Lenoir County expands EMS team

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -A county here in the east is growing its E-M-S team while trying to bring new members on board.

According to the Lenoir County Emergency Services Director, Murry Stroud, this spring the team is transitioning to a new tiered response model.

“We are taking the paramedic off of the ambulance and putting them in a quick response vehicle,” Stroud said. “To handle the truly sick specific calls that are at the paramedic level.”

Typically, there’s a paramedic on every ambulance which can stretch rural areas thin. Stroud says there’s a nationwide shortage of paramedics and burnout during the pandemic could’ve contributed to that.

Right now, Lenoir County has eight EMS vacancies.

“The research that we did showed 75-80% of the calls that we’re going to are well within the EMT and advanced EMT scope to handle,” Stroud said.

Stroud tells me new hires for the eight positions will work 12 hours shifts through the workweek on two trucks, and they’ll drop to one person during the weekend.

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