Tenn. EMS agency considers switching to 24-hour shifts

Bradley County EMS providers may soon begin working 24-hour shifts, despite their concerns about workers’ fatigue and safety

By EMS1 Staff

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — An EMS agency held a meeting to discuss the possibility of switching to 24-hour shifts, and EMS providers voiced their safety concerns.

WDEF reported that Bradley County is considering alleviating overtime costs and a heavy call volume by making the switch, but EMS providers said the extra hours won’t be safe for them or their patients.

One paramedic said she initially came to work at the agency because of the suitable hours.

“I came to Bradley County because I was in a wreck in an ambulance during a 24-hour shift. I had my back broken in three places. I was out of work for several months,” she said.

“The main thing was the call volume was too much for us,” Bradley County commissioner Johnny Mull said. "It could alleviate that we thought somewhat and we could alleviate the overtime possibility. I didn’t know all of these other things were going to come into play and I don’t think you do until you get all of that information back.”

City officials said they are going to review the statements given, as well as studies on workers’ fatigue, before they decide. The change would be made in July if it is approved.


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