Springfield Community Ambulance has a need for EMT’s
For decades, Springfield Community Ambulance has provided first responder service to the community. Caring for both locals and non-locals during trying times, of injuries, accidents and illness.
The Springfield Ambulance is owned and operated by the City. Over their many years of serving the community, the ambulance has been a volunteer service (similar to Springfield’s Fire Department) this entire time.
“Our ambulance service has been self-sustaining for years with dedicated volunteers, but we need more people willing to help their community by joining the team,” said Joe Stremcha City Manager & Director of Economic Development.
Over the past year, there have been many changes with the ambulance service. The closing of Mayo Clinic and Hospital and the new partnership with Allina Health are a few of the changes. Other changes include the ambulance service recently moving their headquarters into the hospital and retirements with the ambulance staff.
“In the last year we’ve lost five Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT’s),” said Paula Thomas, Supervisor-Ambulance Coordinator, Springfield Community Ambulance.
The vast majority of EMT’s the ambulance lost was due to retirement. The ambulance runs 24/7 and in order to do that they have multiple volunteers. Currently, the service has 12 EMT’s and one EMR (Emergency Medical Responder).
“To make the current service run smoothly we need roughly 25 EMT’s and EMR’s,” said Thomas, who has been putting in, at times, more than 80 hours per week at the ambulance to cover the shortfall.
“Bare bones minimum, we need 17. We need more local volunteers,” added Stremcha.
This is a field where minutes really do matter and response time, is one of the biggest reasons that the service needs more local volunteers. If an ambulance service wasn’t in town due to a lack of EMT’s, and EMR’s. Ambulances would have to come from Lamberton or Sleepy Eye.
The drive time alone from Lamberton would be about 15 minutes,” said Thomas adding, “Sleepy Eye would be about the same time.”
The 15 minute estimates are only for the drive-time, additional time is also needed to gather the personnel and prepare the ambulance.
“In town, our current response time is approximately 5-10 minutes,” said Thomas adding, “that’s from the call to the front door.”
To keep the service relevant and in the community, both the City and the ambulance is putting a call out for community members to serve their community.
“We want people who want to help their community in a way that they’re willing to get up at 2:00 a.m. when their pager goes off. Somebody that looks at their community and says how would I feel if my mother had a heart attack and we didn’t have an ambulance to respond,” said Thomas.