First responders discuss EMS, ambulance services across Minnesota

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Leaders of multiple agencies and boards spoke Thursday afternoon at the Minnesota State Capitol to bring awareness to issues plaguing emergency medical services and ambulance services across the state.

Members of the Minnesota Ambulance Association, EMS Medical Directors, Minnesota Emergency Medical Services Regulatory Board and rural ambulance service leaders said they’re facing serious challenges as they face staff and volunteer shortages and increased demand for emergency medical services.

The group urged state lawmakers to take legislative action to bolster ambulance services.

“This is probably one of the most important things coming up in the next 10 to 20 years as our population gets older and older,” said Dr. Aaron Burnett, who practices emergency medicine at Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater. “As a state we shouldn’t wait until there’s a public outcry because people can’t get an ambulance in a timely manner. Every day citizens in Minnesota rely on EMS services for emergency care. We owe it to those patients to ensure our EMS system is appropriately supported and funded at the state level.”