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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Crivitz Rescue Struggling To Stay Volunteer Squad

Issue Date: September 30, 2021

In a recent letter accompanying a request for the municipalities served by Crivitz Rescue Squad, Inc., to accept their proposed contracts for 2022, Denise B. Busse, ASEMT and EMS Coordinator for the squad, noted they have been trying to keep costs down, but had found it necessary to apply an increase to all five of the municipalities it serves.

The letter did not break down the percentage of the price increase, but it appears to be slight. Contract price for the Village of Crivitz is $28,857 for all of 2022.

"Crivitz Rescue Squad (CRS) responded to a total of 588 emergency calls last year and, unfortunately, is on track to exceed that many responses this year," the letter states.

It continued, "CRS has found it necessary to apply an increase to all five municipalities that we offer our emergency medical services. There are multiple factors involved with the price increase, all of them out of our control.

"The price of COVID19 has been high. We have seen this in the 300% increase in the cost of medical supplies. We have spent large amounts on PPE and COVID related items," the letter went on.

"CRS, more importantly, has seen the stress on our staff. Our crews are constantly being asked to offer up more hours from us, their employers and the training centers. Almost all of our staff works full time jobs elsewhere. The AEMT, EMT and Drivers offer their time in between work and family. They have worked hard. They should be commended for their dedication," the letter declared.

"Nationwide there is a shortage of EMTs. We are not immune to this problem. We have struggled to maintain coverage 365 days a year with a volunteer department. We have done it every day, every shift, since 1953. It has been difficult. The struggle has led us to the point that we must make some changes. Competition for EMTs keeps increasing. Squads in neighboring counties and one squad in our county have gone to a 100% paid staff.

"We, however, are struggling not to put that huge financial burden on our community. It has been difficult. We are losing EMTs to paid departments. We have members that have had to retire. We have great members, but many are tired. We have members that are wearing themselves down with work and volunteer hours It is not healthy or wise for us not to take care of our people. We need a solution," the letter stated.

"Our department has discussed all our options. We have made the decision to continue with our volunteer staff, but to possibly add some paid EMTs to our roster. These full time positions will come with an increased cost. We cannot bear that cost, so we must pass it on to the communities that we take care of daily," the letter went on.

"Crivitz Rescue Squad is the busiest outlying county squad. We have found that these new contract amounts are at or below what other departments are charging in their service areas," the letter stated, and concluded with an offer to make a Crivitz Rescue Squad representative available to answer any questions regarding the commitment and obligations of the contract, and an offer to show the municipalities the Squad's facilities and ambulances, and explain the advanced level of care that they can provide.

Crivitz Rescue Squad provides emergency medical response services to the Village of Crivitz and part or all of five towns in a 180-square-mile area.


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