Ga. county to allow Advanced EMTs to replace paramedics when needed
“We have upped salaries. We’ve recruited. Nobody wants to do it as much as they did,” said John Smith, the director of operations at Gold Cross
By Sarah Roebuck
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Jefferson County commissioners have unanimously agreed to a Gold Cross EMS proposal to modify their contract, permitting Advanced EMTs to replace paramedics on ambulances when necessary, the Augusta Chronicle reported.
John Smith, the Senior Director of Operations at Gold Cross, informed the commissioners about the national paramedic shortage. He mentioned that Gold Cross has been utilizing this approach with ambulances in Columbia County for approximately the past 18 months.
“We have upped salaries. We’ve recruited. Nobody wants to do it as much as they did,” Smith said. “There’s not a huge difference in what an Advanced EMT can do and what a paramedic can do.”
Typically, Gold Cross stations two ambulances in Jefferson County, one in Wrens and another in Louisville, each with three paramedics on rotation. Currently, they have a paramedic vacancy in Wrens, which they’re aiming to fill.
“We will still have a paramedic when we can,” Smith said. “That’s our goal. We are not abandoning that. We just need the flexibility to put an Advanced EMT in there if we have to.”