Pierce County voters will have the opportunity to decide on additional mills for emergency medical services that Rugby EMS provides on June 12.
Currently Rugby Emergency Medical Services staffs two Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Being able to staff two ambulances allows Rugby EMS the ability to transport patients that require a higher level of care in a timely manner. Due to state regulations and requirements, one ambulance staffed with a paramedic and an EMT must remain in city limits and available for 911 response at all times.
If the 4 additional mills pass, Rugby EMS would continue to maintain ambulance coverage for Rugby and surrounding townships.
Chase Wangler, EMS Director says. “If the mill levy does not pass this could be detrimental to the care we provide citizens of Rugby. We would only be able to have one crew on staff. For example, if a patient required transport to a more advanced facility, that patient may end up waiting an extended period of time until another ambulance service could transport them. With two crews on staff, we are able to transport that patient while receiving a high level of care and still be available for response in the community.
“This will impact Rugby EMS financially.” Says Chief Operations Officer, Erik Christenson. “Recently Wells County passed 10 mills for their ambulance service. Currently, Pierce County only has 2 mills for its ambulance service. The hospital is compensating for much of the expense for a needed community service. If this does not pass, it will force the hospital to reevaluate the staffing model and make some tough decisions for EMS.
Most recently, three area ambulance services have closed their operations. Glenburn, Esmond and Willow City. Adding 4 mills to the 2 Rugby EMS already receives, will help fund this community service and ensure patients will be taken care of 24/7, 365 days a year.