REHOBETH, Ala. (WDHN) — There are five rescue squads in Houston County and they are all facing staffing issues.
Rehobeth Rescue EMS Captain believes it’s not an issue getting people into the field, however, they are becoming disinterested because it’s not how they envisioned it.
“You have your bad calls and your good calls you just got to focus in on the good and don’t let the bad weigh in on you and bring you down where you don’t want to do this profession,” Rehobeth EMS Captain Heather Thomas said.
The number of emergency personnel such as drivers and EMTs varies from each department depending on how they function. For Rehobeth, they mostly operate with two emergency medical technicians which was not the case a couple of months ago.
“We made some changes as far as we went underneath the town so that we can offer employees retirement to employees and that help people that work for Dothan fire department and other organizations come in because they can help feed into their retirement they are already paying for,” Thomas said.
As for the pay for EMS workers, drivers start at $8 an hour and EMTs and paramedics are between $9-11 dollars. Thomas says for those exploring the possibility of becoming an EMT, they do offer ride alongs and when it comes to training, they will point you in the right direction on where to take the courses.
Thomas says it’s important to fulfill this great need as they are usually the first ones on the scene when car accidents occur.
“We also go to just random things if somebody doesn’t feel good they call us to come and check on them and we do the best that we can,” Thomas said. “We go check on them and assist them however we can if they want to go to the hospital we take them to the hospital.”
If you would like to join Rehobeth Fire and Rescue or any other rescue crew in Houston County, you may visit their town hall or drop by the station for an application.