Eighteen months ago I was approached by Joan Frazier, President of Ackley Volunteer Ambulance Service (AVAS) asking if Eldora EMS would consider merging with them. Their crew was down to 5 active EMTs, and all worked out of town except for Joan, herself, who was self-employed at the insurance company she and her husband owned. She spoke of how supportive the town of Ackley is and has been of AVAS. She also stated that her crew was tired, often taking call every night of the week, with only her available on weekdays. The crew did all this for $2.50/hr call time; a crew who saved lives, missed their family, their children’s and grandchildren’s events, and put their life on the line. I reiterate - $2.50.
At a time in history – 40 years ago – this was the norm. Now, in 2023, there is a nation-wide shortage of all healthcare providers. Emergency Medical Services is at a critical point in their 55-year history. With long hours and low pay, few people choose to go through the rigorous training. As we all know, volunteerism is at an all-time low.
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