Adams County Ambulance Service facing critical staffing shortage

ADAMS-COUNTY-AMBULANCE

QUINCY — Fewer ambulances are operating in Quincy and Adams County these days as the county’s ambulance service is currently 36 percent understaffed.

At full capacity, Adams County EMTs and Paramedics staff six ambulances throughout Adams County and Quincy providing Advanced Life Support 24/7. Three units are stationed in Quincy and primarily serve the southwestern portion of Adams County and one unit each is stationed in Camp Point, Mendon and Liberty.  The crews are supervised by a captain assigned to an Advanced Life Support equipped Quick-Response/Command Vehicle.

But right now, the Adams County Ambulance Service is running with one or two fewer units most days and the Mendon station has been unmanned because the department is down 15 employees.

Adams County EMS/EMA director John Simon gave a report to the Adams County Board Tuesday night where he said the service needed to increase pay to fill the vacancies. At Simon’s request, The board approved a memorandum of understanding with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to bump the pay scale to for new hires with experience to be paid at a higher rate than someone with no experience.

Simon said the starting wage of $16.80 an hour is less than EMT’s make in Pike County, Illinois with new hires there being paid more than employees with 10 years of service time in Adams County.

Simon said the EMT training course offered through Quincy High School has shown promised, but he said one prospective student he wanted to hire was making more at Dunkin Donuts. When Simon brought that up to the Board, members responded that the County offers a better overall benefit package than a fast food establishment. Simon responded that young people of that age aren’t necessarily seeing the whole picture and primarily look at the hourly wage.

In other action, the County Board:

  • Approved a $770,528 contract with County Contractors of Quincy to construct a bridge on County Highway 39 (North 800TH Avenue) approximately 6.5 miles east of Liberty. The county will appropriate $340,000 from the County Bridge Fund to pay for the balance not covered by Rebuild Illinois.
  • Awarded a contract to Diamond Construction of Quincy in the amount of $749,403 to resurface a portion of County Highway 3 (Ellington Road), from just east of North 60TH Street to North 84TH Street from the County Motor Fuel Tax letting.
  • Accepted the low bid of $286,450 from D&L Excavating for the Vermont Street parking lot project.

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