GREENVILLE, S.C. — Statewide research shows South Carolina is struggling to attract and retain emergency medical service workers.

Officials from the South Carolina EMS Association and the Office of Healthcare Workforce say some training programs are severely under-enrolled, with up to 75 percent of their seats vacant.

In addition, they say those that do graduate are only staying in the field for about eight years.

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The Greenville News reports factors such as low pay, long hours and poor working conditions could be to blame.

EMS Association president Henry Lewis says it's "not doing a good job" of reaching new paramedics. In response, Lewis says the association is expanding recruitment efforts.

Greenville County put about $1 million toward hiring more EMTs, but those efforts are failing to attract many candidates.