KBJR-TV: Staffing shortages plague first responders in rural Minnesota, Wisconsin

EXCERPT: “When emergency strikes, you call 911 and wait for someone to show up, but how long you wait could mean the difference between life and death. Waiting is exactly what people in small communities are having to do more of. Cook, Minnesota, has a population of 562. Like many emergency medical services (EMS) in rural America, its ambulance is staffed with volunteers. Karen Schultz is the Interim Director of Cook Area Ambulance Service. ‘If that pager goes off we just can’t roll over,’ Schultz said. ‘We have to go. It’s one of our loved ones.’ They have around 20 volunteers, which is a number not meeting the demand. ‘I mean there are times in the schedule where we have maybe one person on,’ Schultz said. ‘There are times in the schedule I don’t have anybody on. It’s sad. It really is.'” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/3JAlfCy