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Parsons resident concerned EMS calls could go unanswered

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 5:31 PM EDT
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PARSONS, W.Va (WDTV) - The American Ambulance Association warns that the coronavirus pandemic took the shortage of EMS workers to a “crisis level”.

A $50 ambulance service fee the Tucker County Commission passed in 2019 was trying to help that.

“The fee itself is good,” said Parsons resident Joseph Strait.

The fee is paid by property owners in the county, and it pays for e-m-s services.

Parsons resident Joseph Strait says he’s all for it.

“That’s less than a dollar a week,” said Strait.

The county is considering replacing the fee with a levy, something strait says, is also a good idea.

“It would generate more funds than the ambulance fee,” said Strait.

Strait is concerned the ambulance fee will go away before the levy is passed. Strait is worried that loss of funding could lead to a drop off in service, and that calls for help could go unanswered.

As an EMT himself, He knows first-hand what the shortage looks like.

“People who are members of the agency come out on their own time and do what they got to do. Volunteers will not work,” said Strait. “Volunteers could augment but will not work as an actual part of the agency to straight volunteer.”

Experts say the worker shortage is a long-term problem that has been building for more than a decade.

“Ems is crucial in the safety and welfare of citizens of a county.”

Tucker County Commissioner Fred Davis tells me the levy is in its early stages. He says this may not be discussed for several months.

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