A 10% increase in 911 calls over the past five years caused Calvert County’s Public Safety Director Jackie Vaughn to ask for eight more EMTs and paramedics -- four of each -- for the fiscal year 2020-21.
Vaughn, who has been in the position since 2010 and has worked for the county for 37 years, informed the county commissioners about the request on Dec. 3.
At the meeting, the county’s Emergency Management Division Chief Al Jeffrey said the county received 27 medical calls in the previous 12-hour period.
The eight additional career EMS Division employees would allow for the addition of a third ambulance transportation unit, Vaughn said. That unit would operate out of Prince Frederick.
Currently, there are two units that cover the north and south portions of the county.
Commissioner Mike Hart (R) noted that the county currently has the only all-volunteer ambulance service in the state.
“It’s been needed for a while,” Vaughn said after the meeting. “The volunteers came to us and said they need help.”
Last July, the commissioners approved the addition of nine EMTs, nine paramedics and five supervisors, Vaughn said.
These positions are slated to be filled by Feb. 1, she said.
Each paramedic would come at a cost of $100,239, while each EMT would cost $87,022.
In other budget requests, Vaughn asked for the addition of a veterinarian at the animal shelter.
The $99,751 position would be funded in part by the elimination of a behavioral and enrichment position that has been hard to fill, she said.
The veterinarian could provide spay/neuter services, she said, along with additional rabies and microchip clinics.
Vaughn also requested two additional dispatchers. Each would cost the county $68,903.
She noted that the dispatchers are called for under a federal guideline.
The county receives 75 cents of every $1.25 of the 911 fee per cell phone line in the county, she said.
The remaining 50 cents goes to the state.
Vaughn noted that fee recently increased 25 cents. New this year, the charge will be for every cell phone line instead of one per account, she said, noting that those with multiple lines only paid one fee previously.