From the

Clarendon Hills needs paramedics, but the fire department can cover its shifts the chief said.

Every month, Fire Chief Brian Leahy releases the monthly schedule more than a couple of weeks ahead of time. Many shifts, often during weekends, are open. For March, the fire department put out the original schedule Feb. 11. Nearly two weeks later, about four dozen shifts remained unfilled.

“That’s pretty normal,” Leahy said in an interview. “The firefighters, EMTs and paramedics put in their shift requests. Some don’t put in any until they get their schedules for their full-time jobs.”

Except for Leahy, the department’s members are part time.  He said the department has looked at how other departments with paid, on-call models handle scheduling.

On the open shifts, he said that 99.9 percent of the time, someone will pick up a shift. At the same time, he acknowledged staffing can be difficult.

“We’ve been struggling through this all through COVID,” Leahy said. “McDonald’s can’t get enough employees. It’s the same thing.”

thanks Robert