By: Renea Kessler
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
EMS personnel in Williams County work tirelessly to provide their county with the support and quality care they need on a daily basis.
These past several years have seen numerous hardships put on EMS organizations throughout the country, to include our local Williams County area.
Last year saw a significant increase in call volume over the year prior. That combined with the nationwide paramedic shortage last year saw things get interesting to say the least, as stated last year by Williams County EMS Director Kyle Brigle.
Call volumes have continued to trend upwards into this year according to Brigle. Year to date, Williams County is currently up by 100 calls compared to the same time last year in 2022.
These calls are being answered by personnel in the county as personnel shortages continue. To combat this issue, some changes have been made.
“Manpower shortages in EMS are not just a Williams County issue but a nationwide issue. We are in an area where we are competing with much larger systems for employees.”
“These systems can offer incentives to employees that we cannot offer. To combat shortages, we have moved one truck from a 12-hour shift to a 24-hour shift. This allows us to staff the same number of trucks with less personnel,” said EMS Director Kyle Brigle.
In addition to personnel changes being made, other changes have also been taking place that will help to better EMS service in the county.
“Our Medical Director, Dr. Todd Brookens is pushing us to be a better system than we have ever been.”
“We have new equipment, new medications and new types of training that will benefit the citizens of Williams County.”
“Williams County has been a self-sufficient system since our inception in 1979. We’ve been able to operate with money collected from billing for transports.”
“Williams County EMS is one of the only EMS systems in the State of Ohio to operate without tax funding.”
“With higher costs and decreased Medicare, Medicaid and insurance reimbursements, we are no longer able to function under this model.”
“With the support of the Williams County Commissioners, we are putting a levy on the ballot in the fall to fund EMS in Williams County into the future. For more information about the levy, please contact email@example.com,” said Brigle.
Funding is a very important aspect to consider for EMS personnel. It allows crews to have the tools, medications and equipment they need to do their jobs well.
It also allows the county to hire the best individuals possible, which it has been able to do for some time now.
“Our people are a great resource. Our first responders in the communities throughout the county are incredible.”
“Having these trained caregivers on scene before an ambulance arrives can positively affect the outcome of a patient.”
“Our EMT’s, AMT’s and Paramedics strive to deliver the highest quality of patient care possible. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our system to be the best system it possibly can be.”
EMS is a silent system. It is something that is there, but it is not really thought about until it is needed.
This means that EMS means different things to different people. Brigle explained that EMS has been a major part of his entire life.
“Public Safety has been a major part of my life from a very young age. With both of my parents involved in Fire and EMS I grew up around ambulances and fire trucks.”
“I am very passionate about EMS. I am passionate about caring for the citizens of Williams County.”
Renea can be reached at