New agreement with Fire Department helps ease school nursing shortages

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Manchester Fire Chief Ryan Cashin. File Photo/Andrew Sylvia

MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Fire Department Paramedics, Advanced-EMTs, and EMTs are able to serve as substitute school nurses, under a new agreement between the Fire Department and School District.

Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Gillis said that filling all nursing positions continues to be a challenge, and as a result, the District has filled gaps with nurses from external staffing agencies. Under the agreement, fire personnel are able to volunteer for shifts to back up school nurses.

“We are grateful for this continued partnership with the Manchester Fire Department,” Gillis said. “Chief Cashin and his team stepped up immediately when we floated this idea. While this agreement does not solve our long-term staffing concerns, it gives us flexibility and puts less of a strain on our staff nurses.”

In addition to staff nursing positions at all schools, the School District must also provide one-to-one nursing services to some students with special needs. The agreement, which provides coverage only for regular school nurses, took effect just before April vacation and runs through June 30.

“We are deeply invested in our city’s students and schools, and we are happy to be able to provide this support,” Fire Chief Ryan Cashin said. “Our fire personnel are always ready to step up, and are well qualified to fill the need to back up our school nurses.”

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Manchester School District