Rebecca Quinn, paramedic, right, fills out her charts as her partner Nathaniel Lombardi, an AEMT, right, trains new hire, basic EMT Chris Wildes at Delta Ambulance in Waterville on Sunday, August 23, 2020. Lombardi, the Field Training Officer (FTO) instructs Wildes on how to use the child restraint system.
In much the same way there was a scramble for PPE, there is an ongoing scramble for licensed field providers to fill the ambulances. Retention rates are low because of several factors, including low wages for intense work. There have been delays in licensing new EMS staff because the pandemic forced closures of schools and hospitals delayed clinical hands-on training.
âItâs constant recruitment looking for individuals to come and work for you,â said Tim Beals, executive director of Delta Ambulance. âI donât want to call it a revolving door. Youâre recruiting in the state and out of the state. And oftentimes, all EMS services and all fire departments, weâre all in this â¦ Itâs like weâre recruiting from each other.â