SAYLORSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/YOU)— Worker shortages are happening throughout multiple industries, but how is it affecting those who respond to an emergency?

The sound of crews responding to an emergency call in your community. Emergency Medical Technicians, also known as EMTs, are those caring for patients at the scene of an incident as well as transporting them by ambulance to a hospital.

A critical job, now facing a critical staffing issue nationwide, something Dennis Ganc with Lehigh Valley Health Network said began at the start of COVID.

“I think that’s had an impact on healthcare as a whole with people wanting to get involved in it, for different reasons and or not, and I think we’ve experienced that in the ems community quite a bit,” Ganc explained.

Ganc said the Lehigh Valley Health Network and the Monroe County Control Center offer EMS student programs, LVHN is even hiring those students as full-time employees while in the program.

As for the shortage of EMTs, he explained they’re doing much better than in 2020.

“As we’re continuing to hire, our recruiting efforts have been very good. We’ve been attracting a lot more people who are coming into the program,” Ganc said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the annual wage for an EMT is $33,450 in PA.

Ganc, who’s been in EMS for more than 20 years, said being able to help your neighbor in their worst times makes it all worth it.

“People don’t call us a lot of times just to want to hang out, there’s something happening, so for us to be able to make that difference and then be able to go back and see the after and see the impact that we’ve made or see the impact that our team has made on people, that’s what keeps us going,” Ganc told Eyewitness News.

If you’re interested in learning more about becoming an EMT, go to the Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Career Page or the Monroe County Control Center’s EMS Sit-in Program.