To: EMS Agency Directors and Primary Contacts
From: Henry Lewis, President of the SC EMS Association
Re: EMS Workforce Study Results
Date: February 11, 2019
New Report on the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Workforce in South Carolina
The South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA), in partnership with the South Carolina Office for Healthcare Workforce has recently conducted a study of the EMS workforce in South Carolina. EMS agencies and the communities they serve nationwide are facing a tightening labor market with the potential for staffing shortages in the coming years. The SCEMSA and its membership have recognized that South Carolina is not immune to these national trends and have proactively begun working with partner agencies across the state to begin studying both the current and the future state of the EMS workforce in South Carolina.
The results of the study show that some agencies are beginning to experience high vacancy rates for EMS personnel and long fill times to get new hires on board. Overall, about 13% of all of the full time positions for EMTs and Paramedics were vacant in the last quarter of 2018 statewide, but only about half of the agencies participating in the study had an open position. It is also important to consider the diversity of EMS in our state and note that some agencies are not experiencing any effects of workforce shortages. The time it takes to fill a vacant position varied widely, depending on the type of personnel.
This initial workforce study is intended to provide decision-makers with valuable information that highlights both the challenges and opportunities facing the EMS workforce in South Carolina. This report is the first step in a concerted effort by several organizations to explore the many factors that impact the EMS workforce in our state, and find solutions that ensure a sufficient and well qualified EMS workforce in the future.
South Carolina is not unique in the workforce challenges we face compared to other states across the nation, however, it is our hope that a collaborative approach to studying and understanding the numerous factors that impact the EMS workforce in South Carolina will yield above average results for the field providers, citizens and visitors of our great state.
South Carolina EMS Association – www.scemsassociation.com –PO Box 1033, Summerville, SC 29484