Part-Time Paramedics? Okaloosa Looks to ‘Relief’ Its Personnel Shortage.

Okaloosa County Public Safety will look to hire 10 relief, or part-time, paramedics to augment their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) force. 

The Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the change to Okaloosa EMS’s budget – which will keep costs the same, but changes the number of employees and hours they will work. Therefore, instead of having a certain number of full-time equivalent paramedics, the Public Safety Department will have spots for 10 relief paramedics instead. 

“As you know, with a changing workforce today, things are different than they were even just a year ago, certainly different than we were five years ago. It’s been difficult to find full-time paramedics,” said Okaloosa County Public Safety Director Patrick Maddox. “And it’s one of those critical services that we don’t want to wait for the wave to crash. We’re figuring out ways to get ahead of that curve and work within the changing workforce that we have. “

According to EMS 1 – a medical first responder trade site – there is a nationwide staffing shortage of paramedics throughout the country. Ambulance.org, another trade website, says paramedics and EMTs average between 20-30% turnover annually. 

If you are a licensed paramedic, you can apply for a job with Okaloosa EMS here. 

Okaloosa EMS Paramedics and EMTs take a training class
Okaloosa EMS Paramedics and EMTs take a training class in Crestview
Drone above an Okaloosa EMS Ambulance
an aerial photo of an Okaloosa EMS Ambulance driving in rural Okaloosa County.
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