Gibson Co. EMS sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ after planned pay raise

Gibson Co. EMS sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ after planned pay raise
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 6:52 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Gibson County EMS is still facing struggles to keep paramedics and EMTs on staff as we’ve previously reported.

The EMT and paramedic shortage is a problem nationwide.

“It scares me and I know it’s been scary for the communities here,” says Gibson County EMS Director David Pond.

Pond says it has become a scary reality for them after having eight full time employees quit in the past three months.

“I end up having to put the available resources in areas where the highest population is, which means some of the more rural areas don’t have as good of coverage,” he said.

However, Pond says help is on the way, but it has been a problem for years. He says he started to notice the issue in 2021.

Pond says the council has given them higher wages since that time, but it hasn’t been enough.

“On every day we cannot fill all of our trucks,” Pond said.

In a county council meeting last week, they announced starting next year a basic EMT will go from $13.02 an hour to $16.66 an hour.

An advanced EMT will go from $16.66 an hour to $18.66 an hour. A paramedic will go from $18.66 to $20.05.

100% of their insurance will be covered, and that decision is already starting to pay off.

Katlyn Siekman was just hired as a basic EMT in Gibson County.

She says she probably wouldn’t have even applied there without hearing about the pay raise.

Pond is hopeful others will come after hearing the news too.

“It seems there’s a light at the end of the tunnel which for us, that has not been for some time,” Pond said.

Pond says their next problem is getting a new ambulance base building in Princeton.

He says the Gibson County Commissioners have approved money for that and is hoping the project can begin soon.