skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Rural Iowa declared 'ambulance desert'

play audio
Play

Thursday, September 21, 2023   

People in rural America are five times as likely to live in so-called "ambulance deserts," areas far from an ambulance service or station, than those in urban areas.

In rural Iowa, ambulance service has declined as the population dwindles. The study, from the Maine Rural Health Research Center, said half of those living in ambulance deserts are in rural areas, more than 25 minutes from an ambulance station.

Keokuk, along the banks of the Mississippi in eastern Iowa, has seen its population shrink to fewer than 10,000, with a sharp decline in ambulance service.

Cole O'Donnell, city administrator, said the situation got worse when officials were forced to close the local hospital.

"It frightened a lot of people," O'Donnell recounted. "I know that we have older people that moved out of Keokuk to someplace closer to a hospital. You know, they had health problems and if something happened, they couldn't wait those extra minutes, or even the extra minutes of getting them from Keokuk to a hospital."

In addition to trying to bolster county ambulance service, O'Donnell noted Keokuk is working to help reopen the local hospital as a federally designated Rural Emergency Hospital, which requires the facility to provide emergency services and outpatient care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Emergency medical service is not considered essential in rural America, and the federal government does not fund it. Volunteers form the backbone of E-M-S operations in many areas, including Iowa. But O'Donnell acknowledged in Keokuk, times have changed. It is hard to find paramedics and emergency medical technicians, let alone people who do not get paid to do those jobs.

"When I was growing up in the '70s and the '80s, my mom was even part of the first responders," O'Donnell explained. "You can't even get first responders now to set up a service where they respond before the ambulance gets there, because nobody wants to volunteer anymore."

While about 14% of Americans live in rural areas, the report shows they make up more than half the population living in ambulance deserts.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Mecca Hills, southeast of the Coachella Valley, are part of the proposed Chuckwalla National Monument. (Bureau of Land Management)

Social Issues

play sound

California tribes are headed to the White House Tribal Nations Summit tomorrow, where they will ask Congress and the Biden administration to create …


Environment

play sound

A new report shows Maine is exceeding the home-heating goals set forth in its ambitious four-year climate plan to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions…

Social Issues

play sound

By India Gardener / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. According to Attorney …


An analysis of government data by the health policy group KFF estimates that nearly one in 10 adults, or roughly 23 million people nationwide, owe significant medical debt. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

It's estimated that one in three Kentuckians struggles to pay medical bills, and the issue continues to be a driving factor in personal bankruptcy …

Social Issues

play sound

Senate lawmakers are soon expected to vote on the Modernizing Opioid Treatment Access Act, legislation introduced this year by Republican Sen…

The Rein in Response Kickoff event will take place at 44 E. 130 N in La Verkin. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

A new program in Utah wants to help first responders learn to recognize and work through their traumatic life events through horsemanship. This …

Health and Wellness

play sound

A coalition of Nevada groups is behind a statewide effort to make Nevada an Employment First state. That would align the state with a U.S. Labor …

Social Issues

play sound

Government accountability groups want increased transparency in New York criminal court decisions. This comes after a new report finds only 6% of …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021