Georgetown, S. C. – Georgetown County Fire Department and EMS are facing staffing shortages in the last couple of months, Assistant Fire Chief Tony Hucks said.
It’s an issue South Carolina firefighter advocates said has plagued the state.
“There’s a reason you have called EMS. There is a reason you call a fire service. It might be one of the worst days of your life and now all of a sudden you call us and we can’t get there,” Vice President of Professional Firefighters Association, William Pesature said.
According to him, staffing shortages has been an issue for some time and it raises concerns.
“I don’t think they are alone in this issue either. This is a problem that we have been following, tracking, through the state,” Pesature said.
As a result of the shortages, a few adjustments were made recently. Assistant Fire Chief Hucks said that they manage to serve the area well, but the issue has to be solved.
“Our concern was working medics way more than what they normally work, and our truck here in the city, at our headquarter station, we dropped it to a basic level truck. Which means they have two EMTS and not a paramedic on it,” Hucks said.
While Hucks said it was a tough decision, he said most of the calls are near city limits.
“Puts them close to the hospital, so if they pick up a critical patient, they are fairly close to the hospital. With that said, we have two medic units with a paramedic and EMT on both sides of the city that can come and respond and help them if necessary,” Hucks said.
Right now, there are 16 openings with Georgetown Fire and EMS. There are job postings on the department’s website.