Derek Dowsett is the Producer of the County Seat. Now entering his 11th season of the program, he has received what he considers a "Crash Course" in County Government.

Many rural communities are facing a serious situation where they may have to suspend their ambulance services because of a shortage of volunteers, funding, and rising costs to provide services. This is an issue nationwide and while Utah may not be in as bad of shape as other communities, that reality isn’t far from our doorstep.
Rural EMS has become a safety net in rural communities and there is a common assumption that the ambulance will arrive when the 911 call is made. EMS response in Utah isn’t considered an essential service like fire and police services are. That has created some difficult scenarios in areas of Utah where large geographic regions of coverage, a shortage of volunteers, and tight budgets are having a real impact on available resources within a community.
This week on the County Seat we will talk to Emergency Medical Service directors from the counties about the challenges they face in providing service to their communities.

Episode Highlights:
Challenges for Emergency Medical Response in Rural Utah
Shortage of volunteers is leaving some counties in a position where they have to suspend their ambulance service
The root of the issue is that EMS response isn’t deemed an essential service in Utah and is underfunded as a result
EMS is a relatively new service for citizens compared to police and fire. What needs to be done to move these services into the category of essential services and how will they be paid for?

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