News article: Rural Ambulance Services At Risk As Volunteers Age And Expenses Mount


Good morning,

Hope all continue to have a happy and SAFE Indy Day celebration.

Linked article explains the rural situation in one state but applicable most other areas.

Please ignore any “pure” politics gleaned from article.  Medicare and Medicaid are in transition.

Emergency chief Campbell has a quality setup. EMS paramedic Gordon and EMT Rinehart have a good logistics setup … better than my ALS [“Advanced Life Support”] trailer resupply system for our emergency shelter. 

The pictures again validate the Chinese adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

This is a good article to contemplate for disaster planning.


  • Comments (8)

    • 2

      didn’t know that many rural ambulance services rely on volunteers. those are true heroes there.

      another thing i gathered from this article is to watch your weight. the injured man wasn’t able to be moved by one person and had to wait for another volunteer from a neighboring town to come help. keep yourself as fit and lean as you can to make it easier to be recused. 

      • 3

        Good morning Pint,

        Plus, let’s not forget that about two thirds of US firefighters are volunteers.

        I laugh when getting reports on new radios for interface during complex emergency incidents. The rural fire departments – like the rural ambulance departments – operate on about nothing.

        As a matter of routine, had used to carry a drag blanket (not an actual blanket; used an Army poncho with hood removed) in flight bag when going to various meetings. Without machinery, a waste of time. 

        Now in my evacuation setup my load-bearing suspenders has 2 tarps. One is modified to allow for use as a drag blanket.

        I am now in the mood for a beer – not a pint or a thimble (Whitstone brand) but an Aussie measurement. Up during storm all night.

    • 3

      Thanks for posting this. 

      My part of Iowa is dealing with these issues. Our nearest ambulance service is now 20 minutes away. The nearest hospital ems service runs at a deficit and they are asking the county to help cover costs.  I’d like to see a more detailed breakdown of all the costs  (yeah I always like plenty of info )  incurred by ems services. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

      The reason I ask is that I know someone who was transferred by ambulance from our nearby hospital 130 miles to Des Moines for specialist care. The ambulance ride cost $10,000, which medicaid paid for. So what are the big $$ drains here ? Insurance ? 

      If the money can’t be found , Is there a regulatory or other solution? 

      • 1

        to answer your question on why prices are so high, this video is a bit goofy but does a good job explaining it. they even have sources to back up all of their facts so it’s not just some made up thing.

        that ambulance ride doesn’t cost the company nearly anywhere near $10,000 but they are able to charge that because we have just accepted larger prices over the years.

        and if you think medical prices going up is bad, check out college tuition. it has gone up an insane amount compared to the rest of inflation


        if we ever elect president pint of beer to be president, tuition and medical cost are two things i am going to reform. not just take more tax payer money and figure out different ways to pay these high prices but ask why these prices are going up astronomical amounts compared to other things.

      • 1

        Good morning Iowa Guy,

        Glad that the article has value to you.

        It’s similiar here. Until recently we also had abduntant use of aircraft – “medivac flights”.

        Besides the mentioned Medicaid, also check the much larger Medicare program.

        I could point you in the right direction – however – both aforesaid programs are so politically charged …… it’s just too far away from direct aspects of prepping that we all must stay clear.

        Pint of Beer’s closeby post with link is a good place to start.

        There are solution but not appropriate for discussion here.

    • 2

      Thanks folks! I’ll watch the vid and keep looking.

      I always want to know why something is going badly, which can make make public officials and others (utility companies for example) annoyed.

      I really like this forum because they want us to stay focused on prepping. I’ve blurred the politics rule here, not intentionally, but just because it’s so hard to discuss solar and grid connection – reliability without straying into public policy. It seems to me that there is also a macro issue to prepping , by which I mean that people should be active in public policy discussions with their gov representatives so their rights to prep are not interfered with. Example – if memory serves, there are still states that require you to be connected to the grid if you have a solar array.

      Another worrisome macro aspect of prepping to me is that should a serious event happen in this country, you might have done an excellent job with being prepared, but you might have to help – deal with a lot of people who haven’t. I spent years interacting with public policy officials to make it easier for every day folks to generate their own electricity….  that’s probably more about me than most wanted to know.

      I try to keep public policy discussions here to “hey ! maybe you should be active with gov officials 🙂 ” . If that’s not cool here, I understand. Anyway, I appreciate that the forum hasn’t come down on me for my musings. As  a long time public official once told me “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu 🙂 ” .

      • 1

        You are fine and aren’t getting to political. Many of us should be more active in politics and tell our representatives what we want, because a lot of the change we need comes from them. 

      • 1

        Thanks Gideon !

        And thanks to Bob for posting this topic.