Dallas medics leave dept. after massive budget cuts

Low pay and failing equipment have driven away almost half of all new paramedics

DALLAS — Dallas Fire Rescue hired 60 new paramedics this year. Twenty-seven of them have already left for higher-paying jobs in other cities.

This year’s unforgiving budget and increased 911 call volume are testing the patience of Dallas medics, who already feel like their resources are being stretched thin.

"We are doing more with less," Cristian Hinojosa, president of the Dallas Hispanic Firefighters Association said. “We are running out of people, running out of equipment, running out of safety.”

Hinojosa told ABC 8 News that public safety spending “is at a 10-year low,” and the department cannot afford to keep their current fleet of ambulances and fire trucks on call — let alone buy new vehicles to expand their coverage.

No replacement vehicles are available, which means that just one mechanical breakdown could delay emergency services for large areas of the city.

Dallas councilwoman Sandy Greyson remarked that, “If there is any need for one (ambulance) and they are both busy we have to wait a very long time for an ambulance to come from another part of the city."

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