EMT shortage threatening ambulance service in rural areas and small towns

The ambulance services in small towns and rural communities across the nation are facing big problems when it comes to staffing. According to the chairman of the board for Dryden, New York’s ambulance service Bill Ackroyd, not having enough volunteers, is a major issue.

“We are in a crisis, not just Dryden but statewide and Nationwide we are in a crisis of no Volunteers,” Ackroyd said.

Dryden’s ambulance service was once all-volunteer now; they have fewer than 30. The lack of volunteers has forced many ambulance services to turn to paid paramedics, a pool of people that is also shirking. This, according to Dryden ambulance service Director of Operations Kevin Westcott, has lead to high and high costs for ambulance rides.

“Basic transports are coming in about $1,000, or more so if the insurance does not pay for the whole shot, you’d have to pay about two-thirds of it,” Westcott said.

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