LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Schools for emergency medical service workers say they can't keep up with the demand for employees across the valley and the country as the medical field struggles with a shortage of workers.
A lack of paramedics, EMTs and advanced EMTs is a problem among hospitals, fire departments, ambulance companies and other medical facilities, exacerbated by problems surrounding the pandemic.
The Clark County Commission recently examined the issue of a shortage of workers among ambulance companies and described concerns over response times.
Industry insiders say budget cuts from local and state governments caused fire departments and private companies to slash budgets. Workers either were laid off, took buyouts, retired or quit due to burnout.
EMS Training Center of Southern Nevada is one of the schools for EMTs and advanced EMTs seeing a spike in demand for its classes. Ambulance companies also stop by to recruit students as workers.
"We have seen an increase in interest of people wanting to help and do their part ... with the shortage the way it is, they can get a job after they graduate," said instructor Kerry Mackey.
The programs are six months each for EMTs and advanced EMTs. Workforce Connections offers funding to help students go through school.