Wisconsin Study: Rural EMS Under Stress

The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health recently published a report highlighting the challenges faced by the state’s EMS system. The report emphasizes the issue of reliability, with staffing shortages and unstable funding streams identified as the primary causes of strain. These challenges are impacting the ability of the EMS system to provide consistent and effective care to rural communities in Wisconsin.

I recommend reading the full report, which is excellent. Here are some key points that I’ve chosen to highlight:


  • “41% of EMS agencies reported gaps in ambulance availability on one or more days in the past 12 months”
  • “Among EMS agencies using a volunteer staffing model, 63% reported service gaps, compared to 15% of agencies using a paid staffing mode”
  • “78% of EMS agencies provided an ambulance response for a neighboring agency in the past 12 months due to the neighboring agency being unable to staff their primary ambulance”


  • “Nearly 30% of EMS agencies report that their current financial resources are not sufficient to cover next year’s projected costs”
  • “69% of agencies are worried that they will be unable to adequately staff their primary ambulances sometime in the next year”

Featured image via Bely Medved on Flickr.

Leave a Comment