Group Representing Ambulance Services Seeks State Package To Address Staff Shortage

Michigan is facing a shortage of EMTs and paramedics, and the Michigan Association of Ambulance Services is asking the state for an aid package to help recruit and train about 1,000 new professionals. Jack Fisher is director of Medic One in Benton Harbor and also a former president of the Michigan Association of Ambulance Services. He tells WSJM News the lack of new EMTs and paramedics has led to a shortage of about 1,000 statewide, with the problem the worst up north where training opportunities are fewer. Fortunately for Medic One, it’s not been facing a dire staffing shortage.

“Medic One is actually a licensed, accredited teaching facility that can teach to the paramedic level in the state of Michigan,” Fisher said. “We’re unique in that respect, in that we’re actually are one of the only accredited facilities that are not affiliated with a college or a university. We’re a stand alone education facility. That’s helped us out immensely.”

However, Fisher says some ambulance services around the state have shut down and others have reduced the number of units, leading to longer response times. The MAAS is asking for a $20 million package to train new employees and Fisher says he believes it would make a big difference.