FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Every day is something different as a responder for Three Rivers Ambulance Authority.
“People don’t always realize it’s not all glamorous like you see on TV,” TRAA executive director Joel Benz said. “You’re not always in the midst of blood and guts.”
Michael Manz has been TRAA’s director of operations for about a month, but he’s been with the company for over 20 years.
“You could say it’s almost like there’s not a typical day, but really there is,” Manz said.
Paramedics and EMTs check their ambulances to make sure they have everything they need for a 12-hour shift.
And they stay in the ambulance the whole time, ready to respond to calls.
“Of course sometimes there’s a reason for them to come back to get supplies and things like that,” Manz said.
It’s a lot of time to spend in the cab, especially with the ongoing staff shortage.
Manz says paramedics and EMTs aren’t the only ones feeling the effects.
“It’s a lot of stress on the system, it’s a lot of stress on the dispatchers, a lot of stress on the crews,” he said.
Manz said there have been times when TRAA ambulances haven’t been available to respond to calls.
“If it happens once a year, that’s more often than it should,” Manz said.
But Benz says things are looking up.
They’re training new employees, and previous part-timers are starting to come back.
“Just being able to see the impact that’s occurring on the street level, and having more staff available and more staff out there,” Benz said. “It’s near and dear to my heart, so it’s exciting to see some positive things happen.”