107.5FM WCCN The Rock - The Coolest Station in the Nation
Memories 1370AM 98.5FM
98.7FM / 1450AM WDLB - Timeless Classics
Listen Live: 107.5 THE ROCK92.7 FM
Family owned radio stations serving all of Central Wisconsin

Less Money and More Calls Putting Pressure on Wisconsin's Fire and EMS Service

Monday, November 1st, 2021 -- 11:01 AM

(Raymond Neupert, WRN) Less money and more calls for service are putting pressure on Wisconsin's fire and EMS service.

A new study from the Wisconsin Policy Forum shows that more and more EMS staffers are retiring and are not being replaced, because most of those positions in Wisconsin are volunteers. W-P-F spokesman Mark Summerhauser says it's not as simple as paying them because the money isn't there.

"Potentially giving them more funding might enable them to just pay their part-time staffers more than might enable them to hire one or two full-time staffers and in areas where there's a sufficient call volume to warrant that."

Summerhauser says it's hard to keep that model going in a time when more people have to work longer hours. "They Typically have other jobs or other things that they do and so they have to have another job that can accommodate them just getting up and leaving in a moment's notice to go respond to these EMS calls."

Summerhauser says a new study shows that most of the state's EMS positions are volunteer, which makes it hard to recruit new technicians. "It can be a challenge to find anything that's an additional incentive to keep doing this kind of work."

Municipalities that currently rely on volunteer services find it hard to make the switch to paid employees because there are restrictions on raising property taxes and state shared aid hasn't kept up with the cost of services.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.