Florence County EMS adds new positions - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence County EMS adds new positions

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - The Florence County Emergency Services have added more full-time positions. Those positions will save the county more than $100,000 in overtime pay. Before those new positions were created crew members were working more than 50 hours per week.

"Well in order to cover the ambulance around the clock 24/7 365, in years past we have relied heavily on our full-time employees working a lot of over time," said Florence County EMS Director Ryon Watkins.

Just a few months ago, WMBF News told you EMS crew members in Florence County worked an average of 50 to 60 hours a week, to make sure help was available if you needed it. Adding 20 new full-time positions have cut that average to 49 hours per week and allowed the county to add a fourth shift.That means more EMS coverage during the day.

"We find that our call volume mirrors that of normal human activity. Meaning when people are up and awake and moving about we have an increased volume," said Watkins.

And to help answer emergency calls during peak times, two additional crews have been added to certain sections of the county.

"What we call a peak time ambulance in Florence and one in Lake City that is designed to take some of the call volume when most people are up and about," said Watkins.

The county says it had reason to add extra workers in those areas.

"The reason Lake City was chosen it's because it's the busiest area in lower Florence, south of the Lynches River," said Watkins.

It takes 15 full-time positions to create a new shift, so of the 20 hired the other five not working that new fourth shift will be spread out among the newly added peak emergency crews.

In addition to those new full-time positions Florence County now has two new ambulances to better serve the community here. All of the new employees hired have prior EMS work experience.

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