Calvert County will go from a 100% volunteer EMS and first responder corp to phasing in some paid personnel.
The Calvert County Board of Commissioners has unanimously voted to phase in paid EMS personnel.
The decision was made in order to help address the challenges of a growing number of emergency calls, timely response to all parts of the county, and difficulties recruiting and retaining volunteer fire, rescue and emergency medical services teams. The county has historically relied on a 100% volunteer corp.
The Calvert Recorder reports:
To supplement existing volunteer ALS staff, the committee recommended the future placement of a paramedic ambulance staffed with a paramedic and emergency medical technician at fire departments in Solomons, Prince Frederick and North Beach, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition, the committee recommended the placement of one ALS chase car, staffed with an EMS supervisor lieutenant and EMT, running at large around the clock daily.
The future supplemental staffing is estimated at $3.3 million annually. The cost for the fiscal 2019 hiring of a career EMS supervisor is anticipated somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000.
The move to phase in paid personnel does not come at the expense of the long-standing volunteer corp that county has historically relied on. To help recruit and retain volunteers the committee recommended offering targeted property tax, homebuying assistance, and day care incentives, changing eligibility requirements for tuition assistance programs, and implementing a billing program that would help capture insurance revenue.
For more information read the full article in The Calvert Recorder.