PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. – The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted last week to begin a phased-in approach to hiring paramedics to supplement the staff of Calvert County’s all-volunteer Advanced Life Support (ALS) and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) teams. The board also approved the initial hiring of an EMS supervisor in Fiscal Year 2019 to oversee the new positions and related requirements.
The unanimous decision was in response to a request for help from a committee of chiefs from each volunteer fire, rescue and EMS station in Calvert County who face increasing demands for advanced life support services, medical calls and patient transport. The committee cited a measurable increase in the number of calls for service; a rapid response challenge for the current ALS unit – located in Prince Frederick – to respond to the north and south areas of Calvert County; and the increasingly advanced training requirements for volunteer paramedics as the basis of their request. The Calvert County Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council also endorsed the action.
“Calvert County has appreciated a long-standing tradition of high-quality emergency medical services utilizing a 100 percent all-volunteer service,” said Commissioner President Evan Slaughenhoupt Jr. “Regrettably, various factors have identified the need to provide supplemental career staffing to improve response times for advanced life support and paramedics countywide. An integrated services model where both volunteer and career personnel provide services will enhance the health, safety and general welfare of our citizens.”
Calvert County has 52 ALS volunteers who serve Calvert County residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new paid paramedics will work with, and assist the vitality of, the ALS volunteer unit from three locations: one each in the north, central and south areas of the county.
“I knew this day was coming,” said Commissioner Pat Nutter. “We’re not 15,000 folks in this county anymore, we’re 92,000 citizens.”
When hired, the new EMS supervisor will work eight hours a day, five days a week and will be responsible for overseeing an ALS field supervisor in a chase car who will assist three paramedic ambulances each staffed with a paramedic and an Emergency Medical Technician.
This mission of the Department of Public Safety is to proactively ensure the safety of the county residents and visitors to the county by planning, training, equipping and preparing staff to mitigate emergencies that require 911 calls, Emergency Operations Center activations, Fire / Rescue / EMS and law enforcement responses, false alarms and hazardous releases. Learn more about the Department of Public Safety Fire, Rescue and EMS Division online.
For additional information on Calvert County Government, visit www.co.cal.md.us or like us on Facebook.