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Legislation Would Loosen Rules For EMTs In Rural Wisconsin

Small Towns Struggling To Meet Ambulance Staffing Requirements

Jay Kleeman (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A bill that would reduce the number of emergency medical technicians required to be on an ambulance for certain communities aims to help rural areas deal with EMT shortages.

The legislation is set to get a public hearing Tuesday at the state Capitol.

Some small, rural communities in Wisconsin are having difficulty finding enough emergency medical technicians. Rep. Jeff Mursau of Crivitz said he hopes the measure he authored will help by allowing sparsely populated areas to use just one EMT, along with a first responder. He said local officials in his northeast Wisconsin district came to him because they found it hard to find enough emergency workers.

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“We have volunteers that are doing it. The communities are having a hard time scheduling,” Mursau said. “You know, for a small community it does cost quite a few dollars to get somebody, during the day usually, because volunteers are more readily available in the evening when they are not working.”

Mursau’s bill would apply to ambulance service providers in a municipality with a population of less than 10,000.

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