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Berkeley EMS one of two county EMS training centers in S.C.

New ambulance signals change for emergency services in Berkeley County (copy)

Emergency medical services in both Berkeley and Dorchester counties are seeing a shortage of certified emergency medical technicians and are looking for ways to recruit, train and retain locals for the positions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has certified Berkeley County Emergency Medical Services as one of only two EMS agencies in the state to serve as an EMS training center.

The certification will allow Berkeley County EMS to host and provide EMT classes for people all across South Carolina, including locally, according to a county press release announcing the certification. The county already maintains equipment and systems and employs the personnel required to teach the classes.

EMS chief for the county Michael Shirey said the certification will allow the county to train and retain its own EMTs.

"This is one of several initiatives EMS is pursuing to solve the EMT shortage that has struck all EMS agencies throughout the nation," Shirey said in the release. "We can now 'grow our own' EMTs."

The other EMS agency with the certification is Greenville County, the release said.

Berkeley County EMS also renewed its continuing education program and its agency license through DHEC.

To apply for a position as an EMT with Berkeley County, visit berkeleycountysc.gov>Careers.