Lincoln Fire and Rescue facing paramedic shortage
Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News
"It's what I've been wanting to do my entire life,” Amanda Barker, future paramedic said.
Her whole life, her calling has been to help those in need.
"Within my family, I've dealt with a lot of medical emergencies and illness... just to have that kind of connection to people, when they're having an emergency, I've known what an emergency is like,” Barker said.
Which is why she’s enrolled in Southeast Community College’s Paramedic Program
She’s not the only one with that desire to serve. SCC is seeing their second largest enrollment in the paramedic program ever.
Which is a good thing, because Lincoln needs more people like Amanda.
"We run 6 ambulances every day, but we need to run 7 or 8, but we can't, because we don't have enough medics,” Lincoln Fire Chief Micheal Despain said.
Despain says LFR is looking to hire 10 medics this year, and will need to add 10–15 each year for the next five years to meet Lincoln's needs.
Despain also says a goal is to hire more female paramedics.
"If you look at the national average, we're about double it in terms of female firefighters, we are trying to recruit for diversity where we can,” he said.
Barker, as a future female paramedic said she too, wishes there were more women in this line of work.
"It's not just being manly and running into flames, being a paramedic is being a really caring individual and really working personally with people,” Barker said.
But whether you're male or female, to be a paramedic Despain said you need one thing:
"A desire to serve."
And that's one thing Barker definitely has:
"It's just a great feeling when you know that you're really making a difference,” she said.
If you have that desire to serve, are licensed as a paramedic and have a clean record, Despain said you are the perfect candidate for a medic with Lincoln Fire and Rescue.
Go to their website for more information on the position and to apply.