More Calls, Fewer Volunteers: The Struggles Of Rural Ambulance Departments

Sep 4, 2018

Ambulance departments in rural areas of Vermont face growing costs and increasing demands of time and training. Some volunteer-run departments have been forced to close when those demands become too much to manage. We're looking at how Vermont's rural ambulance departments are meeting those challenges to make sure someone answers when Vermonters dial 911. 

Reporter Joseph Gresser of the Barton Chronicle discusses his reporting on the closure of two ambulance departments in the Northeast Kingdom—in Derby Line and Barton—since January, and how those communities' emergency needs are being met after their local ambulance departments closed.

Dan Batsie, EMS Chief with the Vermont Department of Health, also joins the show to talk about staffing, training, costs and other challenges facing the state's roughly 80 ambulance departments.

And we'll hear from Forest Weyen, a paramedic and executive director of Bennington Rescue Squad, about how that department contracts with small departments in Vermont and other states to keep them operating in their local communities.

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.