Wake County EMS leaders call for pay increase

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County EMS leaders are calling on county commissioners to increase pay for EMS workers as it deals with a staffing shortage and a record-setting number of calls.

Wake County EMS says it responded to more than 10,000 calls in the month of September and FEMA sent a few ambulances last week to help answer some of those calls.

This comes as county EMS leaders say they’re seeing a decrease in paramedic applicants and they’re dealing with more competition from non-EMS employers looking to hire people with emergency credentials and certification.

In Monday’s commissioners’ meeting, Wake County’s chief medical officer blamed the call increase on several factors, including the surge of the Delta variant, the county’s growth, and the fact that some people delayed health care in 2020.

“What we saw here is a lot of members of the community, trying to access care, are trying to get their surgeries done now, trying to go to the hospital now,” said Dr. Jose Cabanas, chief medical officer.

Cabanas points out that this isn’t unique to Wake County. Agencies across the state and nation are also dealing with similar problems.

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