Cole County EMS to move back to 24-hour shifts

2 months 6 days 3 hours 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
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council is talking about building two roundabouts on Nifong Boulevard in an attempt to reduce... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:35:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Former Senate Intelligence Committee staff member James Wolfe pleaded guilty Monday to one count of lying to the... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 3:31:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A walkway outside of the Royal Inn off I-70 showed signs of structural damage Monday afternoon and guests... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
(CNN) - It's been five days since Hurricane Michael decimated Mexico Beach, and dozens of residents are still nowhere to... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 2:30:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP)- New numbers show Missouri's Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill brought in nearly $8.5 million for her re-election bid... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:52:19 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson kicked off what he calls "Infrastructure Week" Monday morning at the Missouri Department of Conservation... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 1:26:00 PM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A federal judge says Missouri has violated the rights of people serving life in prison without parole for... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:35:48 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY- A man was arrested and accused of trying to run over his girlfriend and son with a truck... More >>
6 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 11:28:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The Boone County Sheriff's Department is investigating a pair of armed robberies at convenience stores over the weekend. ... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, October 15 2018 Oct 15, 2018 Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54:00 AM CDT October 15, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County deputies found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during a traffic stop early Sunday morning, according to... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:05:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
SLATER - Gloria is a 2-year-old pit bull who was found near Slater, Missouri after someone shot her in the... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 8:26:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Missouri's Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley took a cue from President Donald Trump on Sunday and said... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 4:50:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) - For many, the fight against Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation was about more than a seat on the Supreme Court.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 3:04:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) - Florida Panhandle officials are trying to figure out how to resume classes after Hurricane Michael damaged or destroyed... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 2:29:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of people gathered at Burr Oak Brewing on Sunday for the second annual Columbia Micro-Con. STL... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 2:09:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
MOBERLY- The Randolph County Sheriff's Office is looking for a suspect after an armed robbery at Dino Mart on 1634... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 12:41:00 PM CDT October 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - A field of flowers swept through Columbia on Sunday in honor of the Alzheimer's Association’s 2018 Walk to... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, October 14 2018 Oct 14, 2018 Sunday, October 14, 2018 8:54:00 AM CDT October 14, 2018 in News
HARTSBURG - The Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival is celebrating its 27th year with traditions like live music and picking your own... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 13 2018 Oct 13, 2018 Saturday, October 13, 2018 11:05:00 PM CDT October 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 46°
7pm 45°
8pm 42°
9pm 40°
10pm 39°