There is a shortage of EMS workers in Hebron like many other cities in the US and most of the times they rely on volunteers during emergency situations. The duty of organizing and providing medical care in emergency situations rest with the people of Hebron and the population of the city is 677.
The squad leader of Hebron ambulance service, Steven Maershbecker said that they do not have adequate staffs for covering all the shifts. He is also the owner of Jack & Jill grocery shop. People of Hebron work during their working hours and devote their extra time for community services. EMS situation in the small city of Marmarth in North Dakota is also at the verge of closing down. EMS service in Marmarth has 12 people and each of them cover 12-hour shifts. Two people should be on call simultaneously, on for driving ambulance and other for administering advanced care. Hartse said that EMS has been relying on the volunteers of the area for a long period and there should be a change to this condition.
Situations in Marmarth and Hebron are not isolated ones. The situation is such that there is more demand for health care in the rural areas but less number of people to provide the care. As per the US Census Bureau, 60% of population remained rural in 1900 while it reduced to 19.3% in 2010. It happens so because the healthier and younger people leave these small cities and move to urban areas thus only aged, poor and older adults are left behind who might be calling 911 with strokes, heart attacks or other emergencies.
The volunteer works for EMS need expensive initial training. Maershbecker is an EMR or Emergency medical responder which requires training of 16 hours in every 2 years. The closing down of an EMS agency actually puts strain on the surrounding services. Nikki King who is a member of National Rural Health Association said that the rate of closure of hospitals in the country is very high.
Most of the ambulance services of the country were provided by funeral homes during the 1950s. As the highway system flourished in US, the number of motor fatalities also increased. It was the National Academy of Sciences which laid groundwork for pre-hospital care and over the years the system also evolved.