The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health released a report entitled “The Reliability of Wisconsin’s 911 Ambulance Response”.
A survey was sent to all EMS agencies that provide emergency ambulance services and 216 EMS Service Directors responded . Responses revealed that the ambulance response system in many communities is under severe strain and in critical need of immediate intervention.
The primary issues affecting reliability were identified as inadequate staffing and a lack of financial resources to address staffing and other operational needs. 41% of Wisconsin EMS agencies reported gaps in ambulance availability on one or more days in the past 12 months.
One director said, ““We are in crisis mode trying to protect the people of our town. We are doing our best, but my crew members work during the day.”
Another Director said, “One agency in our county has the same person running every single ambulance call they get. The minute she quits, that agency will fold up; a neighboring provider will have to come in and pick up the slack. Nobody can take on any more calls, and we are all operating at max capacity.”