Washington Post source | Comments courtesy of Matt Zavadsky
There has been a plethora of national and local news stories this week about this issue –
An NBC News report and a recent MSNBC interview with Dr. Ed Racht earlier this week.
Ambulance agencies large and small, urban and rural, on the brink of collapse!
Pandemic is pushing America’s 911 system to ‘breaking point,’ ambulance operators say
Surging demand, financial strain are leaving ambulance corps exhausted and running out of funds
By William Wan, Dec. 3, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed America’s 911 system and emergency responders to a “breaking point,” with ambulance workers and their services financially strained.
Ambulance providers from New York to Iowa to Georgia say the situation is increasingly dire. Desperate for a financial infusion to keep such operations afloat, the American Ambulance Association recently begged the Department of Health and Human Services for $2.6 billion in emergency funding.
“The 911 emergency medical system throughout the United States is at a breaking point,” Aarron Reinert, the association’s president, wrote to federal health officials in a Nov. 25 letter obtained by The Washington Post. “Without additional relief, it seems likely to break, even as we enter the third surge.”
The strain could result in longer wait times and some providers going out of business, ambulance operators said.
Ambulance providers are struggling to meet surging demand even while grappling with increased costs of personal protective equipment, overtime, staff shortages as workers fall ill and decreases in the type of emergency calls that are reimbursed.