Ambulance providers in North Texas are rethinking the way they respond to calls, as pandemic-related staffing shortages leave agencies around the United States strapped for paramedics. Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson said his department is sending fire paramedics to compensate for shortages with American Medical Response, the city’s ambulance provider, where staffing is down two-thirds. The change has not hurt the department’s response time, Crowson said. However, he does not see the issue going away.
“Maybe this COVID experience is a wake-up call for the industry itself,” Crowson said. “We’ve got to figure out new ways of delivering the services that are needed.” An AMR spokesperson did not specify staffing levels for Arlington or its surrounding service areas when asked and instead provided a statement about COVID’s effect on staffing.