Report: 800 Ark. EMS professionals let licenses lapse

According to Jon Swanson, Metro EMS executive director, 800 lapsed licenses is an uptick from the average 600 the state typically sees


By EMS1 Staff

SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — More than 800 EMS professionals did not renew their licenses across the state, according to a report released last week.

THV 11 reported a significant drop in the number license renewals for EMTs and other industry professionals, a worrying stat for industry officials.

According to Jon Swanson, Metro EMS executive director, 800 lapsed licenses is an uptick from the average 600 the state typically sees.

The Arkansas Ambulance Association (ArAA) said in a post on its Facebook page that “on the surface, the reduction in workforce professionals seems to echo the outcry of industry leaders who are facing significant recruitment and retention challenges. The ArAA is continuing its work to help identify industry trends and find ways to work with stakeholders to, in a sense, stop the bleed of its most valuable asset – the EMS professional.”

 

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Chance Dryer, a ninth-year EMT at MEMS, said the responsibilities of the job aren’t for everyone, and has a role in the lack of license renewals.

“It’s very common, for several reasons: the nature of the job, whether or not they can. They come in with well intentions, and they get on that first critical call, and they realize they can’t deal with it,” he said. “Whether or not they have an experience in the past that caused them to have that trigger in their mind that they can’t deal with, or they have never been in a situation like that where they have to see some of the things we have to see.” 

Stress can be a factor, too, Dryer said.

“Some people don’t have the critical thinking, some people get in it and the stress of the job, they just freeze up, and they just realize, ‘This probably isn’t for me. I should probably not be in this setting where people are calling us in their darkest hour.’”

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