DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester County leaders are taking some proactive steps to find enough people to work in its EMS department – like lowering the age of those who can apply.

“Prior to Monday night, in the emergency medical services department, to operate a vehicle during an emergency response you had to be at least 21 years of age,” said Mario Formisano, Deputy County Administrator for Public Safety.

Bringing the minimum age down from 21 to 18 will match the minimum age requirements in Berkeley and Charleston counties. They are making the change to be more competitive in finding employees.

“Just like any other EMS department in the state or in the country, we want to remain competitive within the market. So certainly, this is going to allow us to remain competitive with our neighboring counties.”

The county also just started a brand new training program.

“We have an EMT recruit school pilot program right now, where for the first time ever, we are conducting the EMT basic certification course in-house- that’s in partnership with Trident Technical College.”

The county also raised salaries this year across the board to find people. They currently have 26 full or part-time EMS positions open.

“We have been implementing some creative solutions and staffing to ensure that we are providing adequate coverage throughout the county 24/7,” he said.

For a list of current jobs in Dorchester County’s EMS department, please click here.