Tri-County EMS (TCEMS) continues to take calls but is struggling to provide coverage around Karlstad during daytime hours.
The gap in coverage comes after multiple squad members left due to resignations, retirements, moving out of the area, or failing the test after training.
TCEMS board members Ben Kleinvachter and Ryan Baron visited the Karlstad City Council regular meeting on Tuesday, October 2, to update on the status of the emergency squad.
At least two people are needed to answer a call, one of which must be an EMT in order to transport a patient. If not enough responders are available to take a call in Karlstad, the page is sent out to the next closest squad available, whether that be Middle River, Hallock, or elsewhere.
TCEMS is interviewing candidates to fill the administrator position, which does not have to be EMT certified, but they prefer that the person is an EMT to help cover day calls.
Eight to ten people have expressed interest in taking the class scheduled for November, but new responders won’t be ready to take calls until the 22 weeks of training is complete.
Baron said the board is looking for an immediate fix on how to provide coverage until more volunteers have completed training.
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