Ambulance shortage remains pressing issue

The Buffalo Center Ambulance faces an EMT shortage that’s about to get worse once the new school year begins. Paul Armstrong from the BC Volunteer Ambulance Corps gave an update to the City Council on August 14, and he says three of their seven EMTs will be unavailable for daytime calls as they begin work at the school this week.

Members of the BC Ambulance met with the City Council in July to seek ideas and help with personnel, as the group is short-handed for responding to daytime calls after ambulance president Tom Holland had to step down due to health reasons. Last month, they discussed the possibility of making Buffalo Center into a hub to provide ambulance service to area communities, while also hiring a paid, full-time EMT or paramedic to handle calls. The plan entails seeking financial support from neighboring communities.

Armstrong said the BC Ambulance has contacted Rake about the idea, but Rake said they wouldn’t be able to contribute financially in this year’s budget. He said they’ve also been in touch with Kossuth County EMS, who is thinking of adding a full-time position based in Titonka.

“We don’t have time to wait. We’re short of people,” said Armstrong. “We’re struggling to cover every day.”

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