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North Dakota EMS Funding and Legislation

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The days of an all-volunteer ambulance service in rural North Dakota towns may be numbered. The legislature's Public Safety and Transportation Committee met in Bottineau today and talked about ways to support local amubulance services with grants and state funds. The Mohall Ambulance Service has been testing out a new forumla for a few years. It pays staff to provide coverage during daytime hours and relies on volunteers for other times. That way, people who work during the day can still volunteer with less likelyhood of being pulled from their jobs. (Diane Witteman, Mohall Ambulance Service) "A lot of the smaller services with the numbers of volunteers becoming less, they're going to be struggling. We still need those ambulance services out there because of our rural areas." (Sen. David O'Connell, Committee Chairman) "It's been going over good with these grants and help from the state. We have a bill draft here today we'll be looking at and I think it's going to be a good program. The committee also discussed technology upgrades for emergency agencies, and the outlook for federal highway construction money. It will report to the next legislative session that begins in January.

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