ST CLOUD (WJON News) - The future of rural ambulance and E-M-S was the focus of a roundtable discussion Thursday at St Cloud State University.

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Industry professionals and state officials met to discuss ways to ensure ambulance services in rural Minnesota are able to meet the growing need for services.

Photo by Jonnica Hill on Unsplash
Photo by Jonnica Hill on Unsplash

Among the points several professionals brought up:

  • A rural ambulance service reported billing $2.6 million in service calls last year, but only receiving $1.2 in income. Another rural ambulance service estimated they receive 40% of what they bill.
  • An ambulance service reported they bill $912 per call, but about 25% of the calls cannot be billed. The cost per call, billed or not, is $854.
  • The estimated cost of operating one ambulance is $600,000 per year.
  • Since 2018, more than 20,800 individuals have let their certifications expire and have left the business.

Officials discussed funding models, staff retention and training efforts, and objectives for the next legislative session.

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