Tomah Area Ambulance Service providing coverage of care in a shrinking workforce environment – WXOW.com

Adam Robarge – Deputy EMS Chief – Tomah Area Ambulance Service
Brandon Mauricio – EMT – Tomah Area Ambulance Service
Tomah Area Ambulance Service
Tomah Area Ambulance Service

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Tomah’s ambulance operation runs two trucks, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Experiencing workforce shortages across the Badger state is all too common in today’s job market.
TOMAH, Wis. (WXOW) – Experiencing workforce shortages across the Badger state is all too common in today’s job market.
It’s especially worrisome when it impacts public safety.
Tomah Area Ambulance Service
In Monroe County, Tomah Area Ambulance Service deals with manpower shortages by having the right incentives and keeping a positive work environment.
But Tomah’s EMS department has an advantage according to Deputy EMS Chief Adam Robarge.
Adam Robarge – Deputy EMS Chief – Tomah Area Ambulance Service
“Being a municipally-owned ambulance service, we have some pretty decent benefits,” Deputy Chief Robarge said. “On our side, state retirement is a big one for us. State insurance plans and that type of things is a big draw for our department.”
Those benefits plus a reworked pay schedule and market leveling hiring practices help with recruitment and retainability. A platoon 48hr/96hr work schedule is also a plus for the EMS staff.
Brandon Mauricio – EMT – Tomah Area Ambulance Service
“Basically you work for two days straight and then you get four days off,” Tomah EMT Brandon Mauricio said. “Which, at a lot of jobs you work 9 to 5 everyday. Here you at least get time in between so, I think that’s really cool.”
Staying on top of manpower in today’s EMS job market isn’t as easy for some of the smaller communities nearby says Chief Robarge.
“Some volunteer EMS agencies are struggling to have that coverage and to be able to provide that truck or even a second truck, you know when it’s needed,” Robarge said. “And you know, having to ask for mutual aid from larger or neighboring departments to fill that void.”
Tomah Area Ambulance Service
Those town and villages aren’t able to provide a competitive wage and benefits package to recruit from a shrinking pool of first responders.
“It’s a shortage of providers, it’s a shortage of paramedics and EMT’s,” Chief Robarge said. “Like I said, it’s a nationwide issue. You know there just aren’t that many paramedics as there were before.”
Robarge suggests that state funding assistance would help Wisconsin communities close the pay gaps, reinforcing the need for Madison legislators to get involved.
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