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County EMS Pleads for Staff to Alleviate Shortage

June 8, 2005

GREENSBORO, N.C. – A sharp increase in emergency calls is becoming almost too much to handle for Guilford County's Department of Emergency Management Services, according to WFMY TV.Occasionally, the county's entire ambulance fleet is tied up with emergencies. Last week, County Manager Willie Best included money for eight additional paramedics in his $507 million budget proposal.The proposal also included a 6-percent tax increase. However, EMS Director Alan Perdue says he needs at least 12 additional paramedics to handle the 10-percent spike in calls.This increase in demand occasionally ties up every ambulance in the county's fleet and forces staff supervisors to respond to emergencies without an ambulance, reported WFMY TV.Perdue says the department must start adding staff to prevent a delay in response time."Bottom line what we're trying to do is be proactive, making sure adequate resources are available versus waiting until things get to a critical mass and we don't have anybody to send," Perdue said to WFMY TV.Increased call volume hasn't prevented ambulances from getting to critical emergencies yet. But Perdue says there have been several close calls.

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