Cole County EMS to move back to 24-hour shifts

1 year 5 months 2 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
COLUMBIA - Even though he grew up in Kentucky, Braden Tyrer is as big a Chiefs fan as they come.... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 2:21:00 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A former southwestern Missouri fire chief convicted last year of raping a young woman has been... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 1:30:17 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Health officials in Los Angeles County have confirmed a fourth U.S. case of the new pneumonia-like... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 1:24:49 PM CST January 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia, Voluntary Action Center (VAC), and the Downtown Optimist Club are putting on their annual... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 11:31:00 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
KINGDOM CITY— A Callaway County Sheriff's Office deputy found a stole firearm, numerous "felony level controlled substances" and drug paraphernalia... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 10:50:00 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Abortion is expected to play a key role in Missouri's 2020 governor’s race, when voters... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 10:21:45 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
BENTON COUNTY — A Blue Springs, Missouri woman is dead after a crash Saturday night. Andralee Taylor, 32, was... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:20:01 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County will celebrate its bicentennial in 2020, and one of the first efforts to create a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 26 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Sunday, January 26, 2020 9:01:00 AM CST January 26, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- Singing, dancing, and speaking were all part of The Cultural Association of India's annual India Day celebration Saturday afternoon.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 5:05:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA— Officers with the University of Missouri Police Department arrested John T. McLiney, 19, on one count of... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:00:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri is holding its 5th Annual Unity Concert. The goal of the event... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:53:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
FULTON - About 20 Fulton YMCA members kicked the cold Saturday by bundling up and running in the 4th annual... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:48:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE — The third annual Superfinn Autism Foundation Guns and Hoses Event was hosted at Boonville High School Saturday. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:10:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- More than 100 people showed up for the 7th annual ROC 7K Trail run at Cosmo Park Saturday morning.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 3:04:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Dozens of veterans showed up to All American Dental for free dental work Saturday. Leroy Strube, a... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 2:04:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Como Shorts Filmmaker Showcase hosts multiple local artists this weekend to present their films. The showcase... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 1:54:00 PM CST January 25, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The CoMo Short Showcase highlights local filmmakers and their original work in the community. The goal is... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, January 25 2020 Jan 25, 2020 Saturday, January 25, 2020 4:45:00 AM CST January 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A hearing has been set for Joseph Elledge on Feb. 3 at 3:00 p.m. at the Boone County... More >>
3 days ago Friday, January 24 2020 Jan 24, 2020 Friday, January 24, 2020 8:02:00 PM CST January 24, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
8am 29°
9am 30°
10am 31°
11am 32°