We’re hearing about a shortage of nurses in Iowa and now, another vital link in the health care chain is becoming scarce. John Hill, president of the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association, says more first responders are needed in rural communities as recruitment of ambulance drivers and EMTs is becoming a serious problem.
Hill says "Rural areas are really the ones that are suffering the most. Most folks have full-time jobs a lot of times outside of the community that they live in, so the volunteer services are really suffering as far as staff and manpower especially during the daytime hours and that’s an issue really all across the nation, not just Clay County or the state of Iowa." Despite the challenges with finding qualified people to cover all positions, Hill says emergency medical care in rural areas is as good as what is found in larger cities.
Hill says he’s a firm believer that in the rural communities, the care may even be a bit better because you tend to know people on more of a personal basis. Hill serves as the ambulance director at the Spencer Hospital.