Wright County Board of Supervisors declare EMS an Essential Service


Following the recommendation of an ad hoc EMS Advisory Council, the Wright County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring Emergency Medical Services (EMS) an Essential Service in Wright County.

In early 2016, city and county officials, including EMS agency leaders, hospital administrators and others formed an EMS Advisory Council at the request of the Board of Supervisors and began the process of discussing how to improve the county EMS system, including making EMS an essential service.

Iowa Code says police and fire protection are essential services, meaning those services are supported through the county's emergency services fund. EMS is not.

EMS in Wright County is nearing crisis mode; ambulance services are realizing difficulty in scheduling, training and retaining volunteer responders, services are experiencing lower reimbursements from individuals and insurance companies along with increased operational costs. In July of 2016 the City of Dows discontinued providing ambulance service, resulting in an increase of response area to the remaining services in Wright County.

“EMS is Essential and we appreciate the work all the volunteer and paid EMS providers do as they provide a valuable service to the citizens of Wright County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Rick Rasmussen. “With Wright County growing, it is important that we do our part to make sure an ambulance is available for all citizens who live, work or travel in Wright County.”

 

For the full story, see the August 17 edition of the Monitor.