National shortage of emergency medical professionals has Tri-sta - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

National shortage of emergency medical professionals has Tri-state officials taking notice

A national shortage of qualified EMT's and paramedics has officials with AMR ambulances in Evansville reaching out to kids in high school.  (Source: WFIE) A national shortage of qualified EMT's and paramedics has officials with AMR ambulances in Evansville reaching out to kids in high school. (Source: WFIE)
Source: WFIE Source: WFIE
Source: WFIE Source: WFIE
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

An emergency call tonight for qualified EMT's and paramedics.
Lots of cities across the country are seeing a shortage of applicants.
That concern now hitting home in the Tri-state.

"We have several estimates in the state of Indiana that say we may be as high as 600 paramedics short state-wide."

Lee Turpen, Primary Instructor for American Medical Response ambulance service in Evansville, says it's a problem across the country.

Different EMS directors have been quoted as saying low pay, long hours, and high stress are the contributing factors.

Lee Turpen and Mike Shoulders, who both work for AMR, speak to high school students about the emergency medical technician career.

On Wednesday, they visited the health services section of the Southern Indiana Career and Tech Center.

"We don't want to present a facade of some glorious profession with no downfalls," explained Shoulders. 

"We are very realistic with them.  We make sure to educate them on what the job is all about.  If just a few of these kids choose to go down this career path, it will make a major impact."

Nathaniel Huddleston is a junior, and looking towards a career in the medical field.

"It's definitely eye-opening to hear them speak about the career.  I feel a lot more knowledgeable about the jobs they're doing."

AMR ambulances, on average, respond to 30,000 runs a year for medical needs.

"I've always wanted to be an EMT because it's so fast-paced and you're never doing the same thing.  With the shortage right now, I feel like I'll make a bigger impact," explains senior Cierra Glover.

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