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Gibson Co. EMS asks for more pay amid staffing issues

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 4:29 PM CDT
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GIBSON CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Emergency Medical Service officials brought concerns before the county council last week.

They have asked for more pay for their overtime work than their current contract allows.

Their contract with the county expires at the end of this year, and Director David Pond said they want some big changes to their pay structure.

Under the current contract, EMS workers have 24-hour shifts for two or three days a week, which is typical for paramedics.

However, they are only paid for 16 hours on those days, and the remaining eight go unpaid unless they get called out to an emergency situation.

Those eight hours are assumed to be spent sleeping, but workers told 14 News it is still time where they handle other tasks and generally have to be away from their family.

According to Pond, one of the only ways that pay system is even legal Indiana is if it’s agreed upon by employee and employer.

It was agreed in writing in 2019, but now that the contract is about to be up. Workers here say it is no longer acceptable.

Pond said on top of the strain it puts on current employees, it has made it difficult to find new people.

“By doing this, it will make it more of an enticement with good pay and good benefits that we can entice other people here,” he said. “There’s a national shortage of paramedics, so everyone’s fighting for the ones that are out there, and we’re not even competitive.”

Pond said Gibson County is the only EMS in the area that operates like this.

He said he has already lost many of his part-time workers because they know they would never want to be promoted to full-time under these conditions.

The county will continue to discuss the budget throughout August and adopt it in full in September.

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