Their job is to save lives. But one eastern Carolina county is finding it hard to keep enough people to do that job.
Onslow County needs paramedics. There are currently fourteen slots open for new medics, but just one applicant. And the reason, says the emergency services director, is competition for those skilled lifesavers from other counties.
North Carolina's general assembly mandated all counties to have an emergency medical services program up-and-running this year. That's driven up the salaries for trained EMS people, and increased the number needed statewide.
The situation is critical for Onslow, which may have to park an ambulance or go to a lower level of care sixty days from now, if they can't recruit new paramedics.