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The need to avoid EMS staffing reductions during budget cuts

When budgets are cut and staff are reduced, there are steps that EMS leaders can take to avoid negative outcomes

By Allison G. S. Knox

As local governments make budget cuts in an effort to maintain their finances and prevent layoffs, it is critical for lawmakers and emergency medical service (EMS) leaders to remain mindful of appropriate staffing levels. Inadequate staffing for EMS could have more dire consequences than lawmakers anticipate.

For emergency medical services (EMS), when budgets are cut and staff are reduced, the result can include problematic responses to emergency calls, inadequate training of personnel, and, sometimes, lawsuits. But, there are steps that EMS leaders can take to avoid these negative outcomes.

Clearly Identify the Needs of EMS

While budget cuts are often inevitable, advocates for EMS agencies must identify the needs of their departments and push to ensure that those needs are met. Such an effort can be quite difficult during times of economic strife, but it is especially crucial when it comes to adequate staffing levels. The quality of patient care cannot be compromised and, ultimately, advocates need to stress this to local government officials.

Read full storyThe Need to Avoid EMS Staffing Reductions During Budget Cuts

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