Lake County Ambulance Services need more EMTs and EMRs

First responders in Lake County

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When you call 911 for a medical emergency, every second counts. But in more rural areas, EMS personnel are struggling to keep up with more calls and fewer EMTs. Right now the two main issues lake county ambulance services are facing are retaining their current EMTs, and recruiting more staff.

Randy Strohmeyer, with Lake County Ambulance Services says here are 12 medical personnel and two ambulances at their station. But many communities in the northland are facing a similar crisis.

“Starting in 2020-2021 is really where we started to see more certifications expiring than initial certifications or renewal certifications across the board for our EMRs, EMTs and paramedics as a whole. Not just in Lake County but across the state,” Strohmeyer said. “The EMTs that we currently have are becoming paramedics through some grants and other funding opportunities. But they’re not staying in the field very long.”

Strohmeyer also says for anyone interested in volunteering with the ems field can be part of something bigger than themselves and lend a hand to their community.

“On average our EMTs and paramedics stay in EMS roughly five to seven years. Where we see the greatest need is getting new people into the field. We need to create these EMTs and then find a way that we can retain them and keep them for longer periods of time.”

Community members of Silver Bay and Finland Minnesota discussed the possibility of high school students entering the EMS field.

“One of the visions we had to help kind of the bigger problem, something that we could do locally, was establishing an EMT program through the high schools. Not just here in Lake County but also up in Cook County the whole North Shore,” Strohmeyer said. “I think it would be a great opportunity for these kids give them an opportunity to stay local. They don’t have to move away, They don’t have to go to college if they don’t want to. They would have opportunities right here at home that they could stay home and help their local community.”

For more information on Lake County Ambulance Services offering CPR classes you can read more here. Also for other stories with Lake County you can read more here.