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Are there enough paramedics to answer your call if you need emergency medical care?  Kevin Charles explores what the Houston Firefighter’s Union says is a paramedic shortage in part one of a special series of reports on NEWS 92 FM.

[audio http://ronenews92fm.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/paramedic-shortage-1-vw-kcharles.wav%5D

Things have changed at the Houston Fire Department in the past five years.  So says retired paramedic Donnie Archibald.

There are at least 100 fewer paramedics working for the Houston Fire Department today than there were five years ago.   Meanwhile the population continues to grow as does the volume of calls requiring emergency medical services. 

A recent article in the Houston Business Journal indicates that Houston added 34,625 residents between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2012, bringing the city’s population to 2.16 million. That was the second-largest numeric increase for a city in the U.S. Yet the number of paramedics is down to about 350.

That same year, HFD responded to over 232,000 EMS calls.   That’s more than 635 calls per day.  Can’t they just train more paramedics?  They could, but union president Bryan Sky Eagle says there’s a budget problem.

Sky Eagle says the union is in collective bargaining now working on a new contract that will hopefully fix the situation.  

Tomorrow, the department’s explanation of why they canceled the paramedic training and a closer look at how this could affect you.

Houston Paramedic Shortage May Threaten Public Safety [LISTEN] was originally published on news92fm.com

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