Around the U.S., many police departments, fire departments, emergency medical services, and other first responders are experiencing a shortage in staff.
Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said Columbus Fire and EMS is currently about 25 people short and they only hire once a year. Shores said when Columbus Fire and EMS are at full staff, they have roughly 100 people on board.
“And it’s difficult to find someone that’s capable of running into a burning building or dealing with a car wreck, but also being able to use medications and IV fluid and being able to attend to a medical issue," Shores said.
This shortage in staff isn’t only a fire department problem. Shores said first responders across the nation are experiencing this issue.
“You know the economy is up, unemployment is down," Shores said. "So typically when that takes place, you’re going to have a tough time employing police officers, firefighters, and EMTs, because they can find better gainful employment somewhere else. So, it’s a challenge.”