During a meeting involving the appropriation of American Rescue Plan funding by Winnebago County officials, discussion began to center around how to fund a possible consolidation of emergency medical services under a county umbrella. At issue is staffing which in some locations is minimal. Volunteers are needed because of retirements and resignations by volunteers.
County Supervisor Susan Smith observed that there is a problem.
The staffing problem has some personnel working nearly 400 hours per month. Winnebago Paramedic Spencer Armstrong explained that there’s an even greater shortage is looming on the horizon.
The idea of consolidation has only now begun to be discussed and is one of several solutions according to Armstrong.
Locally, cities such as Buffalo Center, Lake Mills, and Forest City are financially supporting those who want to learn about being an EMT. Classes are being held locally at the Hanson Career Center where students from around the area are learning how to do the job. More adults are needed too.
County officials who are considering the idea of EMS consolidation have scheduled a public meeting to explain possible tax levies, staffing issues, and the general need to cover the 402 square mile area of Winnebago County. The public is invited to attend.