A Ticking Time Bomb: Latah County Needs Full-Time Paramedics

From Bring To Light

In the spring of 2015, a man who wishes to remain anonymous noticed that his wife was unwell. They were in their home in city limits on the north side of Moscow. He saw what he thought were stroke-like symptoms and he knew something was not right. At first he tried to move her into their vehicle, but he could not, so he dialed 9-1-1.

In about two minutes the Moscow City Police arrived, but no ambulance. So they waited. After what must have seemed like an eternity, the ambulance finally arrived, twenty minutes after he had called for help.

His wife was transported to Gritman Medical Center and diagnosed as having had a stroke. Fortunately, she survived, but not without some lasting damage.

About a month after the incident, the man received a bill from Moscow Ambulance for a little over seven hundred dollars.

He was appalled that the bill was so high for a service that took so long. He said that he could understand having a slow response time from a volunteer company, but what agitated him was that his bill reflected a much higher level of service. Finally he asked, “If the volunteers are not being paid, where is all the money going?”

This man’s experience is due to a systemic problem that has persisted for some time. The City of Moscow has an acute paucity of paramedics. Moscow Ambulance is the only municipal EMS provider in the entire county with any paramedics, and they have only slightly more than a handful.

Read the rest over at Bring To Light