Ralls EMS short-staffed, service put on pause for two weeks

Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 12:05 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Wednesday a public notice was posted in Ralls notifying citizens Ralls EMS is unable to provide services for the next two weeks. City administrator Kimberly Perez says it’s because Ralls EMS is currently short staffed on certified personnel.

”At this time, it’s hard to find certified personnel willing to come to Ralls that are not from this area and take the time away from their families and other jobs,” Perez said.

Perez says Ralls was notified by the state that they couldn’t shut down, but had to put out notices to let citizens know they can’t operate a full crew at this time. If people make a call to 911, help is still close by.

”Crosbyton EMS is 8 miles away. We hope and pray that an emergency doesn’t arise. But we are not in control of that. I hate for it to come to this point,” Perez said.

Perez says if they can get some people on their current roster on the schedule, they should be back in service before the posted two weeks are up.

”We’re really needing help with ECA’s, Advanced EMT’s, EMT Basics and Paramedics. We’re fairly low paid at this moment, but this is a great community to serve,” Interim EMS director Chris Pickering said.

“We will probably be going over budget,” Perez says. “We are three months into the budget and about 70% is due to personnel staff.” Pickering says the current budget doesn’t allow for high enough wages to help keep people on staff.

”At this current moment, I’m just not able to offer more. It’s got to be passed through city council and I’m definitely fighting to try and see what we can do. We’re fighting as hard as we can to keep this service and keep serving this wonderful community,” Pickering said.

Pickering is relocating for personal reasons and has turned in his resignation. Perez says there’s a special meeting Tuesday to accept that resignation and look into appointing a new director.

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