News Democrat

Fixing a broken system

By Wayne Gates – 

The strain on the county EMS system is reaching a breaking point.
A population that is growing and aging is being served by volunteers who are burning out and fire departments that are stretching budgets to the limit.
According to the Brown County Communications Center, there were 6,068 fire and EMS runs in the county in 2010. Five years later in 2015, that number rose to 8,506 runs. Last year, the number of runs shot up to 9,158. Given that trend, it is only a matter of time before the county sees over 10,000 fire and EMS runs per year.
“The taxpayers of this county and the leaders of this county have to realize that something has to be done,” said Brown County Fire Chief’s Association Chairman Rob Starrett.
Response times are continuing to climb as the communications center has to search for a second, third or even fourth option when someone calls for an ambulance.