By Andrea Walsh
The Fillmore County Journal, December 9, reported the Lanesboro Ambulance Service may lose its Advance Life Support License due to a shortage of volunteers and I assume, funds.
This certainly should be a concern for all residents locally and in the rural areas served by the Lanesboro Ambulance Service. In addition to serving the City of Lanesboro, it serves the City of Whalan, townships of Holt, Carrolton, Preble, Amherst, Norway, Pilot Mound and Arendahl.
Until we face the possible life/death emergency of a loved one, we do not realize the value of their dedication, training, experience and equipment reliability that goes into reaching us in an emergency. However, without more volunteers, the life saving measures they can provide will be reduced to “about as much as what a bystander with a first aid kit could do,” according to Deane Benson, Director of the Lanesboro Ambulance Service.
The next closest advanced life support is a 50 minute drive, a neighboring ambulance service (if they have the Advanced Life Support License) or emergency air transport. For my husband, there would not have been enough time to wait for another area ambulance, drive to Rochester/or Winona or air transport. Air transport claims are easily denied by insurers, run in to the thousands and often fall on the patient’s family.
Regarding funding of the Lanesboro Ambulance Service, for example, Medicare stated we were responsible for only a fraction of the total cost. This is probably the norm which means billing is not supporting them.
On Wednesday, January 22 at 7 p.m., let’s show up to overflow the Lanesboro Council Chambers and seriously consider being a volunteer of this worthy organization that serves us. My husband is here today because they had that license permitting them to administer meds that saved his life. Let’s support these dedicated men and women so they can continue to do their job.
See you there Wednesday, January 22 at 7 p.m. in the Lanesboro Council Chambers.