Cole County EMS to move back to 24-hour shifts

1 year 3 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, August 09 2018 Aug 9, 2018 Thursday, August 09, 2018 5:38:00 PM CDT August 09, 2018 in News
By: Hannah Thomas, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Commission has approved the EMS chief's plan to bring 24-hour shifts back.

"There's a nationwide shortage of paramedics. It's not just unique to us or Missouri. It's the whole nation," said Cole County EMS Chief Matthew Lindewirth. 

For about a year, the commission chose to use 12-hour paramedic shifts based on safety concerns. As a result, some paramedics resigned or were let go. Those paramedics voiced concerns, saying that led to longer hours overall and interfered with family time.

Lindewirth says bringing back the 24-hour shifts will offer more flexibility and could be the answer to filling staffing shortages.

"Twenty four hour shifts are a standard in this industry. It's what people are used to and it creates more time with your family," said Dack Spang, a captain at Cole County EMS.

Usually, with 12 hour shifts, paramedics work 21 days a month. Lindewirth said with the new modified 24-hour shift, paramedics will work between nine and 11 days.

"It's really important for my staff to have that work-life balance. This will improve our quality of care," Lindewirth said.

However, Spang said he is a bit apprehensive about the changes.

"Personally, I have mixed feelings about the changes, but I know it's the right decision."

Lindewirth says the service is looking to fill the positions left vacant when the department was going through changes. It wants to hire six paramedics, two dispatchers, a logistics officer and a training officer. 

The new 24-hour shifts will go into effect on Aug. 26. Lindewirth is hoping the vacancies are mostly filled by mid-September.

The commission's decision to switch back to 24-hour shifts brings a new pay scale with it as well. Lindewirth said paramedics could get a $4,000 to $6,000 raise.

The funding for this is coming from a sales tax voters authorized in 2008-2009. Lindewirth said the overall budget impact is not as great as what people think it is.

The new model consists of five 24-hour units and three 12-hour peak units. Typically, eight people are needed to staff a 12-hour shift. Only six people will staff the 24-hour shifts now.

"The extra people mean that I can take those people and use them to add more units to the system," Lindewirth said.

Cole County EMS serves almost 80,000 people. Lindewirth said the goal is to raise the level of care the service provides to the county.

"Eventually the plan is to take one of the units and relocate to the east end of Jefferson City. We could either build a new station or occupy one. We're also hoping for a reduction in response times over the long haul and making Cole County EMS the best system in the state."

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - The 71st annual Christmas parade took over the streets of Fulton on Saturday afternoon. This year's theme... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:40:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Road signs honoring five Boone County veterans killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were revealed Saturday. ... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:36:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — One person was transported to the hospital Friday night after being ejected from their vehicle. The... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
TIPTON — A shooting suspect is in the hospital after authorities shot him five times, according to a news release... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 8:50:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - Police are investigating after shots were fired at a Break Time in Fulton Friday night. According to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 1:25:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU spokesman Christian Basi, confirmed the man who died after being hit by a car on College Ave... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 9:34:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is waiving adoption fees this weekend, just in time for the holiday season.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:36:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri’s minimum wage rate is set to go up again soon. The state minimum wage will increase... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 5:21:41 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are inviting families to join them at the Governor's... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
BOONEVILLE - The Cooper County Sheriff's Office is asking travelers to find an alternate route on Highway 41 going to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:02:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - This weekend, 47 high school basketball teams from five states will go head-to-head in the 2019 Norm Stewart... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:24:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Former MU Quarterback Drew Lock is set to make his second start with the Denver Broncos this Sunday versus... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 12:28:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in Sports
BOONE COUNTY- A 52-year-old male suffered two gunshot wounds Thursday night after getting into a fight with two people at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:53:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
RICH HILL- Relatives of a missing Missouri mother say they are growing increasingly concerned after deputies found the woman's phone,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:22:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Hayden Holt, a 17-year-old from Hallsville, died in an overnight car crash... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:41:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
3am 39°
4am 38°
5am 37°
6am 37°