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Community concerned over ambulance service

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 10:28 PM CST
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DUNN CO., Wis. (WEAU) -Community members covered by one area ambulance service are calling for change.

The Boyceville Community Ambulance District has been in operation since 1973.

Today it serves six towns and one village in Dunn County.

Because of things like a lack of staff, the ambulance district is in need of help.

To the Boyceville Ambulance District Board, EMS Chief Wayne Dow put into numbers the state of the ambulance service.

For 13 hours in December, the ambulance service was out of service.

More than 65% of the time EMS was in-service, it only had one person covering the shift.

Without two people, Dow says it’s harder to give patients adequate care.

So far this month, the ambulance has not been out of service.

Nearly 65% of the time, two people have been able to cover shifts.

It’s greatest need right now: staff.

After Dow became the EMS Chief in April, 15 people quit saying they were unhappy with the board’s decision.

Other reasons for the staff shortage: the time commitment, pay and concerns over COVID-19.

Despite the stresses right now, Dow said he’s working to get people hired and trained.

“People need to understand we are doing the best we can to try what we can with what we have right now,” Dow said. “Our light at the end of the tunnel is our future EMTs in this next class to help us out, and hopefully keep growing from there.”

Dow said he’s looking into a possible merger with Colfax.

He’s also looked into other ambulance services though he says many companies don’t want it and don’t have enough people to staff it.

The board is expected to meet again next month.

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