ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) If you are having a medical emergency, chances are you'll need to be rushed to a hospital within a matter of minutes.

But some industry shortages of EMTs could cause delays in you getting the help you need.

Ethan Gray is a Critical Care Paramedic with AmeriPro EMS.

“I’ve been trying to help people since I was a little kid,” Gray said. “So I grew up and did the same thing.”

Working in emergency services for eight years it's something he has a passion for.

“It feels cool just to know that you were able to help somebody go home to their family,” Gray said.

But not enough people are having that drive. 

“There’s an exponential demand for EMS in the country and there is just not enough people being pushed into or coming into the industry to support that demand," AmeriPro's Vice President and COO Larry Richardson Richardson said.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, since 2016 there has been an average base of about 8,600 EMT and paramedic jobs in Georgia, but in the next six to seven years that number could increase nearly 24 percent to almost 11,000 jobs.

However, there would still be an average of nearly 800 unfilled positions. Several reason factor into the shortage.

“There’s different pay discrepancies within the industry,” Richardson said.

“Some of it has to do with national reimbursement has not kept up with the cost of doing business. So that’s ways that created a lot of shortage in the industry both in services and in personnel,” he added.

Richardson says the industry will have to become more efficient with new technology. He says more schools are needed to get people trained for what they'll face.

“If it doesn’t take a toll on you, you ain’t doing it right,” Gray said.

“No one ever calls 911 because they are having a good day. So you train hard. You work hard and you do the best you can for everybody you meet,” Gray said.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(2) comments

Medic 111

Also in your segment you mentioned Atlanta Fire not having shortages...what you forgot to mention is that it is not Atlanta Fire that runs medical emergencies... Grady EMS does and they do have tremendous shortages!!

Medic 111

The issue with the shortages are a bit more complex then your article suggest. There are several problems that plague the industry. Pay us just one aspect. Most medics work more than one job, to make ends meet. Burn out is huge in this industry! Uncontrolled abuse of the 911 system also plays into this! PTSD and suicide take it's toll as well, and nobody seems to care about that. Medics are leaving the industry faster than new ones are being trained. Our industry does not receive the respect it deserves, it's not even considered a career. Police and Firefighters always get the recognition... never EMS...

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