Mont. paramedic starts his own private ambulance service

Paramedic Brodie Verworn said he decided to start a new service after seeing the rising population strain fire district infrastructure

By Laura French

FLATHEAD COUNTY, Mont. — A Montana paramedic has started his own private ambulance service in the hopes of addressing the impact an increasing population has had on the 911 system. 

Paramedic Brodie Verworn, who has served in EMS for more than 30 years, said his experience working at fire departments in Flathead County showed him the strain that high call volumes have had on local EMS agencies over the years, according to the Flathead Beacon.

Verworn said he has seen patients wait up to 30 minutes for a response due to ambulances being unavailable, has seen stations forced to close, and noted an excessive need for mutual aid due to lack of staff. 

These challenges inspired Verworn to start Vitalogy EMS, which launched in March, with plans to begin patient transports next month. 

According to Verworn, the benefit of starting a private service is the freedom to respond to calls across fire districts and not rely on tax levies for funding. While the company will start out responding to direct requests from individuals and facilities, Verworn said he hopes the company will be able to respond to 911 calls in the future, taking some of the strain off of the fire district infrastructure. 

Verworn purchased his first ambulance on eBay in January and has begun hiring personnel locally. He said starting wages for entry-level EMTs will be $15 an hour, and $25 an hour for experienced paramedics. 

Vitalogy EMS also has an education program, with Verworn, who has taught EMS courses since 2005, currently teaching CPR and EMS refresher classes. 

Verworn says he aims to have four ambulances by the end of 2021 and six by summer 2022. 

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