St. Paul, Minn. – Today, State Representative Ginny Klevorn (DFL-Plymouth) participated in a remote public meeting with regional Emergency Medical Services boards and over 80 EMS workers to engage in a discussion about the state of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) since the onset of COVID-19. Attendees and legislators primarily focused on recruitment and retention of EMS volunteers, which has been an ongoing challenge pre-pandemic. NBC reported last year that 1/3 of rural America faces an EMS shortage.
“Minnesotans rely on the critical services our first responders selflessly deliver on the front lines every day,” Rep. Klevorn said. “I was grateful for the opportunity to hear directly from the hard working EMS volunteers and look forward to working on solutions to fill these gaps with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle.”
Many volunteer EMS workers on the call expressed concerns about retaining current volunteers, as many are older, more likely to contract the virus, and are close to retirement age.
“People in rural communities are busier these days, and less willing to give their free-time to volunteer pursuits,” said Chad Powers, a schoolteacher at New London-Spicer High, and EMS volunteer in the Willmar/New London region. “As our communities grow and age, we are faced with the dilemma of increased call volumes and smaller EMS squads. Burnout and retirements are culling our ranks, especially since the onset of COVID-19. Many small-town ambulance services will soon be at a critical crossroads regarding our future.”
“I look forward to working with our EMS providers and communities to meet their needs,” said Rep. Klevorn. “Working with our EMS professionals, we can make sure our families have the safety and health services they need in the time of an emergency.”
Rep. Klevorn proudly represents House District 44A, which covers the city of Plymouth. She serves on the Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division, Long-Term Care Division, Higher Education Finance and Policy, and the State Government Finance Division. Rep. Klevorn can be reached by phone at 651-296-5511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.