FOREST CITY, Iowa - It's an issue many rural communities face: a shortage of full-time paramedics. And Winnebago County isn't immune to the alarming trend.
Currently, Forest City Paramedics provides not only service to its home town, but also parts of Winnebago, Hancock and Worth Counties; however, they have been running into a staffing shortage. By the end of this month, the service will be down to 2 full-time paramedics, 6 part-timers and some EMT's, as well as support staff and drivers.
Now, a paramedic who oversees the service is asking the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors to help create a plan for the future of paramedic service and funding in the county.
On more than one occasion, Rebekah Boyer has needed emergency medical services, which provide a vital service to a county that has no hospitals. With this ongoing shortage, Boyer is hopeful the necessary service will receive more funding and staff.
"They do a fantastic job. I'm super impressed, but I think it's a necessary for our community to have them here."
A scholarship fund was recently formed that has collected $1,000 so far, in the hopes of adding to the service. Boyer loves the idea of trying to get more interested in the field.
"I think it's fantastic. I think getting kids interested in emergency services is a great idea."
The Board of Supervisors are planning on adding the issue to a public forum in future meetings.