ECHO, Ala. (WDHN) — Echo Fire and Rescue posted on Facebook how short staff they are of emergency medical technicians and what a huge impact that makes in the Dale County area they serve.

Echo Fire and Rescue are hiring for fulltime and part time EMT’s and paramedics and they say they’re in urgent need of more crew. They are currently hiring for 8 additional EMT and paramedic positions to operate additional trucks.

According to Echo Fire and Rescue Chief, Rocky Windham, they are facing a shortage which is affecting response time.

“We’re seeing response times taking a bit longer with EMS across the board,” Windham said. “So when that ambulance is not able to get back into service, it’s taking an additional ambulance to take over the additional calls that come in. So it’s a slower responding time to get the ambulance back in service.”

According to Windham, emergency services across the state are experiencing a shortage and though they’ve had some applicants, they’re also seeing less people apply.

“We have a lot of EMS employees that are reaching retirement age,” Windham said. “And being a statewide problem, seeing how many of them are retiring, I don’t think we have the amount of new employees coming into the field.”

This issue isn’t just affecting EMS, Echo Fire and Rescue Captain, Jeremy Fischer told WDHN News.

“Reality, it’s created a stress for all the services together because if another service in the area has a slow response time, they’ll contact us.” Fischer said. “You know to help out, or a different agency to help out, and then therefore it falls back on that agencies community, so it effects everybody.”