Va. city returns to partnership with EMS agency after cutting ties with 10 paramedics

Petersburg officials recently cut ties with 10 part-time paramedics, who were brought on as a way to save money


PETERSBURG, Va. — Petersburg Fire is looking to return to a partnership with a nonprofit EMS agency after parting ways with 10 paramedics.

NBC12 reported that Petersburg officials recently cut ties with 10 part-time paramedics, who were initially hired as a way to reduce costs after the city reduced business with Southside Emergency Crew.

Petersburg Fire-Rescue EMS Chief Kevin Michalek said working with part-time paramedics “didn’t always work.”

Petersburg officials recently cut ties with 10 part-time paramedics, who were initially hired as a way to reduce costs after the city reduced business with Southside Emergency Crew. (Photo/PFR)
Petersburg officials recently cut ties with 10 part-time paramedics, who were initially hired as a way to reduce costs after the city reduced business with Southside Emergency Crew. (Photo/PFR)

“I would say it worked probably 50 percent of the time,” he said. “Most of the part-timers all worked for other agencies, fire departments, EMS agencies, so this was just a part-time job for them … If they were scheduled to work [and] called in sick, then it became problematic of getting other providers in to cover those positions or shifting personnel around to make sure positions were covered.”

Of the city’s 74 EMTs, only seven are ALS certified. Police Chief Kenneth Miller, who also oversees public safety, proposed the fire department resume a full partnership with Southside Emergency, which would mean an additional16 ALS providers would be covering the city.

"When there's a need for advanced life support, somebody needs to be there,” Southside Emergency Director of Operations Bubby Bish said. "More coverage for the City of Petersburg and an improved coverage….Advanced Life Support coverage really is important.”

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