WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WZTV) — UPDATE: (11-7-21)
Officials with Wilson County Emergency Management Agency (WEMA) said they had to close an EMS station multiple times amid worker shortages.
WEMA closed the Statesville station on Oct. 1, Oct. 2 and Oct. 24, FOX 17 News has learned. Officials said the rural community was still serviced by WEMA from the two surrounding stations in Watertown and Norene.
Stations 7 and 11 were both closed Nov. 6.
RELATED: Wilson County leaders to consider pay study amid emergency service worker shortage
WEMA Director Joey Cooper tells FOX 17 News the agency is facing personnel shortages for several reasons, including "lack of students in the fire and medical field, stress due to the job plus using ongoing COVID guidelines, with no relief in sight."
Data shows WEMA was without a paramedic on staff eight times in the past six months. WEMA also cites that 99.80% of their calls are ALS (Advanced Life Support) calls.
Cooper said the mayor's office and other county officials have been notified about the current situation and are "working together on a plan hopefully to solve some of these issues."
And Cooper said the shortages WEMA is facing isn't exclusive to Wilson County. Cooper's said other agencies across Middle Tennessee are experiencing the same issues throughout the public safety field, including law enforcement. Cooper said it's been tough to get and retain recruits.
FOX 17 News reached out to the WEMA director who did not want to comment.
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