DeLorenzo offers new ideas regarding EMS
Pulaski County EMS Director Brandon DeLorenzo is offering further ideas on how to attract new employees to the department.
DeLorenzo discussed with the county commissioners, on Monday, April 5, a few different ideas as to staffing and benefits. His ideas included using noncertified staff to drive the ambulances, reintroducing on-call staff, reimbursing employees for schooling and waiving the ambulance fees for county employees and their immediate families.
DeLorenzo has spoken with the commissioners and council several times letting them know what challenges he is facing trying to staff the department. The challenge comes from a decreasing number of EMTs and paramedics across the state and that Pulaski County doesn’t have the means to offer as many benefits or as competitive a salary as other companies.
DeLorenzo first talked about using noncertified staff to drive the ambulances.
He suggested that the department could hire individuals to drive the ambulances and it could be considered a basic service truck instead of advanced-life saving services. The person would not have to be an EMT but he or she would have to be CPR certified.
The second idea DeLorenzo suggested was to bring the on-call pay back. At one time, EMS employees could be paid for being on call. DeLorenzo explained that it gives the EMT or paramedic the opportunity to be at home but if they are needed they could respond. The on-call staff can also respond when there is a critical care transport or when someone calls off.
County attorney Kevin Tankersley said the county has to be careful as how “on call” is defined because of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Tankersley said he will have to review the act and the previous county policy regarding the on-call pay before he could advise further on it.