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Bertha and surrounding ambulance services need more EMTs

Photo for illustration only. Not the actual ambulance.

by Trinity Gruenberg

A lengthy discussion was held during the Bertha City Council meeting on December 13 about the future of the Bertha Ambulance Service.

Ambulance Director Russ VanDenheuvel had planned to retire at the end of December. He decided to stay on the crew through February in hopes of finding a new director and recruiting more EMTs.

VanDenheuvel and a few others will be leaving Bertha’s service, putting the ambulance in a tough position.

They met with the state and other surrounding area services are in the same boat, struggling to get EMTs and coverage. Some have had to go out of service for some shifts as there was no coverage. Bertha has not had to do that but it has come close.

The last meeting with the ambulance crew still left half of the calendar empty for coverage.

VanDenheuvel explained he is speaking with Tri-County, Staples, Parkers Prairie and others to help cover day shifts. He proposed to do what Parkers Prairie is doing, getting a full-time paid EMT for daytime coverage.

“If we don’t get enough EMTs by February, we may not have a service. It’s that critical,” explained VanDenheuvel. . .



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