Forest City Mayor Byron Ruiter, along with City Administrator Daisy Huffman have been named to the Winnebago County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Advisory Committee in an effort to recruit and retain a local ambulance crew. Ruiter stated the EMS shortage is a nationwide crisis and not exclusive to our local area. Ruiter believes solutions need to be found.
Last year, KIOW News reported that there were staff shortages throughout the area. Some of the smaller cities such as Buffalo Center were down to skeleton crews. Forest City, Garner, Lake Mills, and Britt also had employee shortages.
According to Hancock and Winnebago County Emergency Services Coordinator Andy Buffington back in February, crews have to sometimes cross over to cover for others.
Winnebago County is considering consolidation of services between Forest City, Lake Mills, and Buffalo Center and potentially adding money from county taxpayers to pay for the program to make it more viable. The Winnebago Board of Supervisors is asking this newly formed advisory committee to look into that viability and whether services will actually be improved.