Myrtle Beach Fire Department using federal funds to fill critical paramedic positions
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Fire Department said it’s closer to getting the additional manpower the department needs to help save lives.
It’s all thanks to American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that were earmarked by Gov. Henry McMaster for technical school training and continued education.
The funding will allow eight Myrtle Beach firefighters/EMTs to go to paramedic school which can be expensive. But Capt. Jonathan Evans said this training is a big deal because the need for paramedics in our area is great.
Right now, there are around 170 firefighters with the city and they are all EMT certified, which means they can do the basic skills for response such as CPR.
But what the Myrtle Beach Fire Department needs more of right now are paramedics.
”We’re in desperate need of paramedics,” Evans said. “Our ambulances can’t run without a paramedic to do those advanced life skills.”
Evans said a paramedic is able to provide advanced life-saving skills such as using certain drugs to get a person’s heart started again.
Evans added that the department needs 30 paramedics to help keep up with the area’s growth. They currently have 19.
“That way we have five per ambulance per shift. So we have three shifts, ten per shift, five per ambulance,” he said.
Evans said more paramedics on their team will reduce burn-out and help save more lives in a growing area.
“Having EMTs is great but paramedics are what really set us above ,” Evans said. “They always say paramedics save lives but EMTs save paramedics. We need to have those paramedics. It’s just the way Myrtle Beach is growing. These trucks are slowing down anytime soon.”
The future Myrtle Beach paramedics will be training at the Horry Georgetown Technical College and are expected to graduate next summer.
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