With a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in full swing, Lebanon County ambulance services struggle to serve the community as staff numbers decline.
Greg Smith, is executive director of First Aid and Safety Patrol, Lebanon County's largest provider of ambulance services He said it's been incredibly stressful for his people to operate during the pandemic. In December, the patrol added 18 employees, but Smith said they now have five open paramedic positions.
"The reality is EMS ... at its best day, the hours are long, the pay is low and it's a stressful occupation," the 25-year paramedic said. "Since March, the volume has been dialed up for that." Eleven patrol employees have tested positive for COVID-19, Smith said. And while no exposures came from patients, each new call-out brings a chance for a worker to contract the virus.