How Volunteer EMTs Are Navigating the Pandemic
As Covid-19 surges in less populated areas, this community care system could be pushed to the limit
How volunteer EMTs became America’s first-line pandemic responders. In a feature story for GEN, Brian Edwards and Marion Renault report on volunteer emergency workers who have provided emergency care in rural areas for decades:
Volunteer departments provide emergency care for about one-third of the U.S. population. Two out of three of the country’s firefighters, and one in eight emergency medical service personnel, are volunteers. Volunteers sustain the medical safety net for underserved rural communities, where hospital closures have widened gaps in health care access, and residents tend to be older, sicker, and poorer. In some regions, the gap in life expectancy between urban and rural residents is as wide as 20 years.
Will the pandemic push the system as far as it can go? Read the full story below.