First responders sound the alarm: Rural communities in Wisconsin face EMS shortage

  • Source: WGLR-FM 97 Lancaster
  • Published: 08/26/2022 12:00 AM

During an emergency situation, most of us can expect help to arrive in minutes, but in rural areas, you may be left waiting for an ambulance for up to 45 minutes. Those wait times could increase. A rural EMS shortage is impacting communities all across Wisconsin, including ones in the Coulee Region. Roughly 9,000 people rely on just 15 full time EMS and paramedics in Tomah. “Every one of our calls is important,” said Adam Robarge, the deputy EMS chief of Tomah Ambulance Service. Robarge was born and raised in Tomah and has been with Tomah ambulance for 21 years. “(It was) just something I got into out of high school,” he said. From 1973 to 2015, Tomah Ambulance was run by volunteers. Robarge’s dad was one of them. “Tomah Ambulance became a career department in 2015 where we hired our first full time staff,” Robarge said.


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