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How can we save rural EMS?

Our cohosts discuss EMS funding, volunteerism and what’s needed to make way for growth

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This episode of Inside EMS is brought to you by Lexipol, the experts in policy, training, wellness support and grants assistance for first responders and government leaders. To learn more, visit

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In this episode, our cohosts, Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson discuss the dire straights for rural EMS as Kelly settles into his new region in upstate New York. Tune in as they discuss:

  • Why EMS isn’t deemed essential. Though more states are making moves to designate EMS an “essential” service, it’s not universal. What will the designation mean for EMS – and will it be a tax base?
  • The volunteer shortage. With volunteers aging out of EMS, how do we bring new volunteers in? The diminishing numbers are not due to generational differences, Kelly says. “I used to be one of those people who said, ‘aw, kids these days,’ … it’s not the kids that are bad, it’s that EMS has failed to adapt to the times,” he noted.
  • Getting over ego and grudges. Mergers and consolidation are a path to stem EMS closures, but require getting over old conflicts and for someone to step aside and make way for growth.

They ask for your input: What will save rural EMS? Chat with our hosts at

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