Wisconsin ambulance services shortage concerns

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In Wisconsin, emergency services are facing a problem. A shortage of ambulances, EMS and other first responders. And it’s really hurting rural areas.

Senator Tammy Baldwin met with Ashland County and rural authorities to brainstorm the best way to keep everyone safe during an emergency.

"It was quite shocking news to me some months ago when I learned that there would be several townships without any sort of ambulance service", says Baldwin.

Lieutenant Matt Spangler Fire Department feels that staffing is a major part in the shortage saying, "you know unfortunately recruitment retention of EMT and volunteer firefighters in general is extremely difficult in today’s day and age."

During a round table with EMS professionals and other rural officials Baldwin encouraged brainstorming to find a solution. She says she wants to, “figure out what sort of policies can we have at the federal level using maybe the US department of agriculture. And their rural development resources and expertise to help townships across the country be able to serve and respond to the medical crisis and needs of their communities"

Spangler says their needs the interest in emergency services has gone down and that, "the volunteer services absolutely need programs to help and incentive people to volunteer for the community."

The conversation continues on as officials work hard to make sure everyone has access to emergency services. And Senator Baldwin says everyone on the panel wants to maintain the core Wisconsin values of neighbor helping neighbor.