In Sioux Falls South Dakota, call volume is increasing but the volunteers that they have available to run their volunteer ambo service is going down. Those numbers are going down for them and why are these numbers decreasing?
Teach Public About Volunteer Need
They’re putting out a call to let people know, “if we have to close the doors and we have to cease ambulance service or only provide part-time ambulance service then the nearest ambulance we’re going to get is over half an hour away.”
This is a good example of educating your public about how your system works and what your needs are. These types of articles are all over the place in rural areas and it’s a good example of how you can publicize and provide information to your community about what it is that your EMS service does.
Publicizing EMS Needs
So I’m curious to see if there’s something like this that some of you are doing? I always talk about some of the biggest problems we have with getting funding has to do with our public being upset with us. Most often I think has to do with them not understanding exactly how we operate and not understanding some of the constraints under which we operate and some of the overarching problems we deal with every single day.
By publicizing this, by going out and saying, “Hey local newspaper, local TV or radio station could we come on the show and talk a little bit about how we operate and talk a little bit about what we need from our public?”
News people listen to that kind of stuff and they love to know when they call 911 this is what they can expect and when someone shows up at my door it is who I can expect. You know last week we talked about the ambulance lag in response during the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shootings and talking about how that article, I think, was based upon public expectation and not actually matching up to the realities of calling mutual aid for a mass casualty incident. This is a situation where we can educate our public.
I hope you’ll take advantage of that and educate the people that you come in contact with. Use a variety of channels to reach out. Perhaps you do it on a website, on your Facebook page, or through Twitter. There are ways to reach out and make sure our public knows a little bit more about how we operate.
Catch this news item and more in this week’s episode of the MedicCast – Atrial Fibrillation Revisited and Episode 295.