EMS providers ask for state support
by Idaho Reports staff
Monday was EMS Day at the Capitol, and Idaho Reports caught up with Wayne Denny, EMS Bureau Chief for the Department of Health and Welfare, to talk about emergency medical service goals for the session.
“The way that Idaho code is written today, it hints at the fact that EMS is important, but what it doesn’t say is that EMS is essential,” Denny said. “EMS is not only essential, but it should be reasonably available.”
In 2021, the Office of Performance Evaluations published a report on emergency medical services in rural Idaho, highlighting funding and staffing challenges and pointing out that about 7 out of 10 emergency medical workers are volunteers. The EMS Sustainability Taskforce plans to work with lawmakers in the coming legislative session regarding the issue. In the leadup to those tentative discussions, producer Ruth Brown spent time in summer 2022 visiting parts of Idaho where EMS directors say they are struggling with inadequate funding.