EMS Needs Funding | VideoChris Williams | 10/12/2012
"People I think just assume that EMS will always be there, and it won`t unless we get support from the public," said Richland County EMS Director Josh King.
EMS is not considered an essential service, so they don`t receive any federal funding. They rely on local and state government for money. However, EMS isn`t getting the money they need.
"Some of these services are actually paying for supplies out of their pocket, which is absolutely incredible," King added.
In Glendive they are trying to get more EMTs to come out, but it`s a long process to become certified.
"We have a large turnout for the first organizational meeting. Drops off some for the first several classes. By the time we`re finished we`re lucky if we end up with 10 percent," said Glendive EMS Director Walley Broeder.
Glendive EMS is about 17 EMTs short, but money is also a big problem for them.
"The ambulance service is operated as an enterprise fund, so we have no tax money. We bill for services, and we live on what we can collect," added Broeder.
For now ambulance services are able to keep up with equipment, but they could use an upgrade.
"In eastern Montana I would say 90 percent of them need way better equipment," King added.
Times are changing in eastern Montana, and EMS is doing its best to try and keep up.