COVID-19 vaccinations Lancaster EMS

COVID-19 vaccines were administered to those in Phase 1A at the Lancaster EMS Headquarters, 1829 Lincoln Highway, in East Lampeter Township on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. 

By next week, TriStarr expects to have hired some of the managers who will oversee other temporary employees at Lancaster County’s mass vaccination site.

Those first few workers will quickly be followed by hundreds more as the Manheim Township staffing agency makes an aggressive push to find people to register, greet, take temperatures of, translate for, answer questions from, give vaccines to, and perform other jobs for the 6,000 people expected to get shots every day at the planned vaccination site going online next month.

TriStarr’s involvement is part of the memorandum of understanding approved by the Lancaster County Commissioners on Wednesday.

“We believe that there will be a lot of interest in this important project to help our community move past the pandemic,” said Scott Fiore, TriStarr president. “This is a community that comes together in times of crisis, and we are confident Lancaster Countians will come together again in our collective time of need.”

Pay will start at $15 an hour for the clinical and non-clinical positions that will also make temporary hires eligible for health benefits through TriStarr. Some positions, such as those involved in administering the vaccine, require health care or medical credentials. Fiore said he expects to hire at least 200 people for the full and part-time positions which are intended to all be paid, although volunteers could also be accepted.

To fill that many positions, TriStarr is casting a wide net, emphasizing flexibility in both job duties and scheduling for the vaccination site slated to operate 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Four hours will likely be the shortest shift, but on-call employees could be asked to fill in for shorter periods.

While many other details are still being worked out, including whether workers would get priority for vaccinations, Fiore said he expects most jobs to begin in early or mid-March. A list of open positions is available online at: tristarrjobs.com/vaccination-job-board/.

“The biggest thing right now is the willingness to help and be a part of this effort. I would encourage people that if they don’t see a job title that necessarily fits what they have skills for, just apply,” he said. “If somebody can work a Saturday for eight hours or four hours, we’ll probably hire them.”


Biggest job ever

An independent staffing agency, TriStarr opened in Lancaster County in 1989 and now has its office at 2201 Oregon Pike, which is the base for its 14 permanent employees. At its busiest, TriStarr has some 300 associates working every day, mostly in Lancaster County.

TriStarr’s involvement in the mass vaccination project began less than two weeks ago after a call from someone at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, one of its biggest client companies.

Fiore said TriStarr’s history with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health helped convince him he didn’t need to wait for a formal contract to buy some new computers and phones, update TriStarr’s website to promote the new positions, and begin recruiting some managers.

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“This is important and if the legal stuff takes a week or two to hammer out, I don’t want to delay the start of these vaccines,” he said.

While he didn’t specify the financial arrangement, Fiore said TriStarr is also taking less than its usual fee to get employees for what will be its largest-ever job.

“I’m not looking to get rich off a mass vaccination project, I’m looking to get this done as quickly as we can,” he said. “The quicker we get everybody vaccinated, the quicker we can all get back to normal. My business is better when things are normal. The community is better when things are normal.”

Fiore says excitement about the new project could help initial recruiting, although he expects there will be snags.

“I’ve been in this business long enough to know that there will be hiccups,” he said. “We’ve built our reputation on responding to those hiccups, so what we try to do is anticipate them as best we can.”

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