“The 911 emergency medical system throughout the United States is at a breaking point,” wrote Aarron Reinert, the association’s president in a Nov. 25 letter obtained by The Washington Post. “Without additional relief, it seems likely to break, even as we enter the third surge.”
While billions have flowed to other parts of the health-care system such as hospitals, the nation’s ambulance and emergency responders have received only a tiny fraction of that funding, the association pointed out.
Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities received $7.4 billion from a relief fund passed by Congress. Rural hospitals and clinics received $11 billion. By comparison, ambulance providers and suppliers received approximately $350 million.
Many ambulance providers, the association said, are private enterprises that are now struggling to meet surging demands while grappling with expensive increased costs such as PPE and shortages in staff as workers fall ill.