Dawson County has difficulty attracting and keeping paramedics due to pay disparity


DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Emergency Services Director/Fire Chief Danny Thompson will alert the Board of Commissioners during Thursday’s work session that the county is losing paramedics at an alarming rate to other counties that offer greater salaries and benefits.

The work session will begin at 4 p.m. to be followed immediately by a voting session.

Thompson will inform the Board that three full-time paramedics have left the county in the last couple of weeks and that he has seven full-time firefighter/paramedic six part-time firefighter/paramedic vacancies but only one application in the past six months.

He will present three Paramedic and Educational Incentives plans for the Board to consider that would cost between $75,592 to $207,276.

Thompson will also ask commissioners to approve the purchase of an ambulance and equipment at a cost of $395,000. The department has $240,000 available from impact fees and will need $155,294 to make the purchase. Thompson said he has five ambulances and three have logged more than 130,000.

During the work session, commissioners will hear:

  • Presentation of Family Connection Request to apply for Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Partners in Prevention Project Grant;
  • Presentation of Intergovernmental Agreement Between City of Dawsonville and Dawson County concerning Trail Infrastructure for Pedestrian Access Between Main Street Park and Library;
  • Presentation of 2021 Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant Safety Action Plan;
  • Presentation of Board Appointments: Library Board i. Don Cargill- reappointment (Term: April 2021 through June 2024) b. Planning Commission (Chairman Appointee) i. Steve Sanvi- replacing Emory Dooley (Term: April 2021 through December 2024);
  • A discussion of Impact Fees.

In the voting session that follows, the Board will consider:

  • A Special Event Business License Application for Dreamland Amusement Carnival;
  • An application for Parade and Assembly by 4-H Rabies Clinic;
  • Moving forward with a Public Hearing for a Mobile Home Ordinance;
  • Moving forward with public hearings for a Vape Ordinance Update;
  • A Board Appointment of Karen McCord to replace Nancy Stites on the Department of Family and Children Services (Term: April 2021 through June 2024).



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