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EMT shortage getting critical in southeast Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Right now there is a shortage of Emergency Medical Technician (EMTs) nationwide, including here in Wisconsin.

Bell Ambulance says they are feeling the effects of the shortage and that EMTs are critical to getting people the help they need.

“They are the first ones on scene generally, and provide a vital link for getting somebody from outside the hospital to a hospital,” Scott Mickelsen, Bell Ambulance Director of Client Services, said.

To stay on top of the shortage, Bell Ambulance a cadet program where they take people with no medical experience and train them to become EMTs.

“We’ll take somebody with no EMT training, we’ll give them a part time job and pay for their schooling, and when they are done with their schooling they have a job as an EMT,” Mickelsen said.

If you are interested in the program, e-mail: cadetapp@264bell.com

Bell Ambulance serves Waukesha and Milwaukee, but Bell says the EMT shortage can be even tougher on services in rural areas, where response times could be slower as a result of the shortage.

Earlier this month In Walworth County, the Village Board discussed downgrading their EMS team from Advanced to Basic because of the lack of Advanced EMTs on their team.

This downgrade will take IV’s out of their ambulances because they require advance training.

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