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Shortage of EMS Workers Has Local Squads Working Overtime

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SMITHFIELD — An emergency of a different kind has E-M-S workers on alert.A major shortage in workers across the state has local rescue squads workingovertime. And they're sending out a 9-1-1 call for help.

Johnston County has nine rescue squads, but with a growing population,growing costs and shrinking volunteer ranks, those squads are stretchedthin. The ambulances are moved all around the county, which results in aslower response rate. The county has commissioned a study to find asolution to the problem.

One solution being discussed is a county-wide EMS tax. Paramedics saythey feel the county will be willing to pay the tax if necessary.

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