Ireland said the city will try to fund about 15 extra emergency medical technicians and paramedics needed for this service within its existing budget.
But if the situation persists for a year, the city could ask for as much as $1 million extra from the state, which covers the costs of county ambulance service.
"We're looking to hire as many as we can to fill not only our vacancies, but also to cover these additional units," Ireland said.
The city has posted job openings for EMTs and paramedics, hoping to fill 28 vacancies out of roughly 200 positions.
And it's getting help from Kapiolani Community College, which just graduated a class of 18 EMTs. KCC is adding a third EMT class to its schedule in the next year, Ireland said.
"Instead of having two EMT classes this year, they're going to add a summer class, from what I've been told. So that will really bolster our workforce," Ireland said. "We really want to make sure that when people call 911, they get expeditious medical care, and get taken to the closest appropriate facility.?