Iowa faces shortage of EMTs in rural communities

Medical Rescue Ambulance Abstract Photo

Waverly, Iowa (AP) – Two northeast Iowa men are raising awareness about a critical shortage of emergency medical technicians in rural areas of the state and calling for changes in law so ambulance service is deemed essential.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Bremer County’s Emergency Management Coordinator Kip Ladage and the EMS association’s president Jim Schutte spoke about the state’s EMS crisis at a Waverly town hall meeting on Oct. 11.

Ladage says small-town agencies are struggling for volunteers, especially as many members reach retirement age. He says the shortage means area medics sometimes aren’t available to respond to calls. Calls then get deferred to another community, which increases response time.

Residents discussed funding EMS services through sales or property taxes to help address the issue.

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