Archive for Thursday, January 4, 2001

Eudora EMS in need of volunteers

January 4, 2001

The Eudora Emergency Medical Service (EMS) needs volunteers and hopes interested community members will come to the rescue.

Eudora EMS Director Matt Daigh said the loss of three volunteers this year caused a shortage and has put a strain on remaining volunteers. Daigh said the EMS workers were stretched thin when two workers left earlier this year. The problem was compounded recently when a third member took maternity leave.

"It put us in a little bit more of a bind," Daigh said. "It just happened via some concerns through her and her doctor that it would cause some problems with her pregnancy. She elected to play it safe."

To cope with the shortage, Eudora EMS has changed the volunteers' rotation.. Previously, workers were divided into four groups, each working once every four weeks. Now, the groups are on a three-week rotation.

"The community hasn't noticed any difference, but the people doing the calls are doing it more often," Daigh said. "It's nice to do the calls on a once-every-four-week rotation. That tends not to burn (volunteers) out."

Bruce Neis, a 12-year veteran of Eudora EMS, said the strain from the volunteer shortage isn't unbearable, but has created a challenge for the remaining 11 workers.

"It's made it busier for the rest of the group as a whole, because we have to fill the slots where the rest of them used to work," Neis said.

Fortunately, Daigh said, calls have slowed in recent months.

"For whatever reason, it seems like our calls are sporadic anyway," he said. "Right now we're in the midst of a dry stretch. I guess that means that everybody's healthy and that's a good thing."

The search is still on for volunteers. Daigh said he would like to have 15 workers on staff. There is also a need for those willing to be on call during the day. Volunteers must be certified through the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical Service. In the past, the service has used people who lived or worked in Eudora, Daigh said. Times and circumstances have changed and the service is looking for "anyone, who lives, works or has an interest in the community."

A seasoned volunteer himself, Neis encourages anyone wanting to become involved to inquire. He said the reward is worth the work.

"It's interesting and you're helping your neighbors and friends and people you don't know," Neis said. "It's keeping people alive until more trained people can get there."

Anyone wanting more information can call Daigh at 542-3706.

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