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Greater Minnesota has an emergency medical services (EMS) problem: a lack of adequate funding and personnel to assist those who are facing medical trauma. State Representative Paul Torkelson of Hanska said this needs to change.

Torkelson said there are areas in Greater Minnesota where it’s becoming difficult to have adequate response times for emergencies.

He said that combined with the closings of some hospitals and others having obstetrics services eliminated, emergency personnel are now more important than ever.

Torkelson said there are a number of bills being sponsored in the Minnesota House that address the EMS problem, including a one-time aid program that would be provided to licensed ambulance service providers in Greater Minnesota.

Torkelson said fewer people are considering careers or volunteering to assist in public emergency services, and that is extremely troubling. We have to sustain an environment where local services can be successful.”