Florence County Council set to discuss EMS concerns and needs

Florence County Council will hold a special meeting Thursday morning to talk more about solutions to the problems with Florence County EMS.

Council chairman James Schofield says they will share more information from a recent comprehensive study on Florence County EMS in effort to improve its services and working conditions for employees.

A summary of the study was released in October and it found that the county needed to raise the salaries of employees.

It said Florence County paramedics and EMTs make $6,000 below the regional average and $3,000 below the national average.

Since December of 2011, the county has lost 15 paramedics and EMTs.

A couple of them retired and the others left for different reasons, including going to work as paramedics at area hospitals.

Some of the existing employees complain of being overworked.

Florence County EMS currently operates seven ambulances from six stations throughout the county. Paramedics responded to 17, 658 calls in 2011 and transported 12, 255 patients.

Since 2000, the call volume has increased by 30 percent.

The meeting takes place Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Florence City County Complex in council chambers.