WIUM Tristates Public Radio

EMS

Frank Morris for Harvest Public Media

If you pull a fire alarm in any large U.S. city, it's likely that paid firefighters waiting at a nearby station will quickly respond. But seven out of ten American firefighters are volunteers. They cover vast sections of the country, making up an aging network that is increasingly understaffed and overworked.

MDH Board Supports Privatization Plan

Jun 27, 2017
Rich Egger

McDonough District Hospital has run the ambulance service in McDonough County since the 1970s.  But the MDH Board of Directors voted Monday night to switch to a privately-run service.

Rich Egger

McDonough District Hospital CEO Kenny Boyd said the only way to prevent the hospital from losing $200,000 a year on ambulance service is by outsourcing it.

Even if lawmakers may not always realize the consequences for rural areas if Emergency Medical Services troubles aren’t addressed, operations fold, and rural residents have to rely on help from bigger cities, State Rep. Don Moffitt appreciates how everyday people get it.

Rural parts of Illinois do not have adequate access to emergency medical services. That's the conclusion of a state panel assigned to study how the state can better serve its farm communities.

After months of surveys and meeting with people around Illinois, representatives from the Governor's Rural Affairs Council say they repeatedly heard from people worried about "the fragile nature of rural EMS."