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Shortage of paramedics impacting IU Health

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – IU Health has dozens of openings for paramedics, but can’t find anyone to fill them. It’s a trend that’s only getting worse.

"There's been a downward trend over the last 10 years, if not longer,” said Matt Wright, a Regional Supervisor for IU Health Lifeline. "We’re finding that it’s harder and harder to find paramedics nowadays.”

Because of the shortage, current employees are working around the clock by picking up overtime to keep ambulances on the streets.

“Most of our paramedics typically work about an extra shift a week," Wright said. "That’s kind of the common trend here at lifeline.”

Wright says there are multiple factors behind the shortage.

"One of the biggest ones over the last probably five years in Indiana is that there are less and less places for people to go out and get a paramedic education,” Wright said. "That’s typically a two year process. With class time, ride time in the field, and clinicals at the hospitals themselves."

You can find paramedic programs at Ivy Tech and also local hospitals. It also takes about six months to become an EMT, which you have to become first before becoming a paramedic.

"So you’re looking at a two to three year process from start to finish,” Wright said.

You can find current paramedic openings at IU Health HERE.

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