St. Louis paramedics keep quitting due to amount of 'bloodshed' they witness

"A lot of bloodshed. And when you get into the bloodshed that involves children, it gets to you."

Kevin Killeen
July 08, 2019 - 12:23 pm
Categories: 

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The St. Louis Fire Department chief says paramedics are seeing so many bodies and so much bloodshed that they're quitting faster than he can hire replacements. 

Twenty of the 55 paramedic positions in the city are vacant. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says in a 12-hour shift, a paramedic might go on 15 emergency calls and the things they're seeing, including gunshot scenes with young victims, is taking a toll.

Related: Police data: Violent crime getting deadlier in St. Louis

"Quite a few of those calls are going to be very, very traumatic," Jenkerson says. "A lot of bloodshed. And when you get into the bloodshed that involves children, it gets to you."

Those who don't quit, often call in sick just to get a mental health day off. 

Related: Trauma specialist pleads with hometown St. Louis to stop the killing

Longterm, the chief says the solution is boost pay and hire enough paramedics to have 16 to 18 crews, so that the workload is not overwhelming. Right now, they have 12 crews.

© 2019 KMOX (Entercom). All rights reserved