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.
As reported by cnycentral.com, “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.
Apart from the higher costs associated with having fewer qualified paramedics, Westcott says in smaller communities, the lack of bodies could bring an end to ambulances in those areas.
“Some communities that rely strictly on volunteers would have to close their doors if they didn’t have enough personnel coming in,” Westcott said.
Not having these smaller ambulance companies would, according to Westcott, put pressure on other ambulance services in neighboring communities, increasing response time, which could be the difference between life and death.
“Your typical response time, you would expect someone to be on the scene within eight minutes, and that could be extended out to 30 or 40 minutes.”I
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