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 Bullitt County’s Emergency Services Department is having difficulty retaining employees even though the county is experiencing the same unemployment problems facing the rest of the country.

Mr. Phillips, the EMS director, approaches fiscal court at almost every meeting stating the need to replace a dispatcher, EMT or paramedic. The EMS has been dealing with this problem for some time. The reason that most leave is the low pay scale. They can earn 20% to 30% more working for a neighboring county or a private employer.

These positions require skilled and trained personnel. The county goes to the expense of hiring, training (at a cost of approx. $2,000), then after the trained employee has acquired some experience they leave for better pay. It is also worth noting that while the employee is in training their duties are performed by working another employee overtime.

This revolving door of employees makes it extremely difficult to operate the EMS department in an efficient and effective manner.

At the last EMS committee meeting Judge Melanie Roberts and Magistrate Ruthie Ashbaugh addressed the problem head on. Magistrate Ashbaugh asked Mr. Phillips for some idea of cost of raising the pay rate of EMS employees to a more competitive rate. Mr. Phillips gave an estimate and said he would have more concrete information available at the next meeting. Judge Roberts asked treasurer Keenan Sharp if the county could afford the added expense. Mrs. Sharp said she needed to examine the numbers more closely but felt it was possible.

I realize that all of Bullitt County’s loyal and hardworking employees have not had a pay increase in quite some time but it is my understanding that their pay rate is not as far below the industry standard as the EMS rate.

Please support Judge Roberts and Magistrate Ashbaugh in their efforts to improve the EMS department.

Sandy Higgins