WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published March 02, 2010, 07:21 PM

Stephen MN. Looking For Ambulance Volunteers

The town of Stephen is putting out a call for help to keep their volunteer ambulance service alive. The town of about 700 people are in desperate need of daytime Emergency Medical Technicians.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

Tim Paulson is a volunteer for the Stephen ambulance service. When the Marshall County dispatch service calls, he is one of a few who is there to answer.

Tim Paulson "They tell us the location, type of problem and we head out."

And they have to head out on every call with at least two Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs. It's a state requirement. And that is the problem. During daytime hours, there are only 2 or 3 EMTs that might be available.

Tim Paulson: "We are kind of a bedroom community so a lot of people the working type people, that could be a potential member leave the town during the daytime."

Stephen does have two ambulances, including this one purchased just a few years ago, with modern equipment. But all this is useless if you don't have the trained people to operate them.

Tim Paulson: "Quick emergency medical care, getting to the patient fast. They talk about the first 30 minutes are the most important. When you are in trouble."

Richard Bolduc: Nearest hospital is in Warren and the is eighteen miles away.

Richard Bolduc is a Stephen life long resident. Like many here losing Ambulance service is a scary thing.

Richard Bolduc: Vital part of our community, We really appreciate having them. We know the sacrifices that they go through.

Other Ambulance services are available coming from Warren or Karlstad, but that would add at least twenty minutes to response times. So Stephen will continue to put out a 911 call for help, to keep the doors open for it's ambulance service.