VIDEO: In the state of Iowa, if a person needs police or fire protection, those agencies are required to respond. However, that’s not the case if you need an ambulance.
That’s because emergency medical services or EMS are not considered essential, and Tripoli’s EMS Director says because of that, the industry in is a state of crisis.
“In Tripoli, we do about 175 calls a year,” said Tripoli EMS Director, Kip Ladage.
That’s a substantial number for the department of at most 6 people responding to calls.
“When you think about that, most of those calls involve transport. How many people can step away from their job for three hours?,” said Ladage.
Ladage says with volunteer shortages, a lack of funding, and inadequate reimbursements, agencies statewide are closing, resulting in longer wait times, especially in rural counties.