In response to the Des Moines Register's two-part story on the shortage of emergency response workers throughout Iowa, I wrote this Letter to the Editor, published September 25, 2022. Not that anyone's listening . . .
EMS troubles highlight deeper problems
Re: "When you call 911, will an ambulance come in time?" (Sept. 18): For those who claim Iowa’s lack of emergency services is just another crisis that needs some money thrown at it, chew on these facts (not opinions):
At the same time Iowa’s EMS demands grow because of the demographics of aging and chronic illness, the number of Iowans aged 18 to 64 is shrinking.
A convoluted and expensive process to declare EMS “essential” is moot for the nearly 1,000 Iowa towns that don't even have the funds to train willing volunteers, which are 75% of the EMS workforce.
The conscious denial of Iowa’s crisis of health care access by those who are paid to know better is not only deplorable, it is downright life-threatening.
- Jo Kline, West Des Moines