Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rural emergency services struggle during holiday weekends to provide care for vacationers

Holiday weekends can be a troublesome time for rural emergency services that are not equipped to handle an increase in calls due to an influx of tourists, reports Andrea Hay for WBAY-TV in Green Bay. Memorial Day weekend was a perfect example in Mountain, Wisc., (Wikipedia photo) a popular camping destination with a population of 860.

Over the weekend Mountain Ambulance Service struggled to respond to an unusually high number of calls, Hay writes. Michael Rzepka of Mountain Ambulance Service told her, "We had our first unit out. We got a second call; our second unit went out, and we were trying to scurry out so that we could still have coverage.”

EMT Matt Miller said the main problem in a small town is finding enough people willing to spend the time and money to go through the required more than 200 hours of training for the EMT basics class, Hay writes. Another problem is sharing services with other areas. Miller told Hay, “If that first unit that’s staffed goes and aides another community, it’s leaving its taxpayers without a staffed ambulance at that time and relying on people to be in the area and be able to respond.” (Read more)

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