How has EMS changed during the pandemic?  

A paramedic carries a baby out of ambulance.
Paramedic Randy Lilly, wearing personal protection equipment, carries a 10-month-old boy with fever after arriving by ambulance to Stamford Hospital on April 4, 2020, in Stamford, Conn. Across the country, first responders are facing shortages of staff and protective equipment as they struggle to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Moore | Getty Images 2020

Across the state, first responders have had to adapt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many people working in emergency medicine say they are burnt out. Fire departments and ambulance companies face staffing challenges and a lack of protective equipment. Tight budgets make it difficult to solve these problems.

A paramedic and a volunteer EMT joined host Angela Davis to talk about the challenges their industry is facing during the pandemic. 


  • Mark Griffith is the executive director of the South Central Minnesota EMS System, who works with a network of 800 to 1,000 volunteer EMTs across a nine-county region. He is also a volunteer EMT based in Eagle Lake.

  • John Sassen is an Allina Health EMS paramedic working in the Cambridge, Minn., area.

Use the audio player above to listen to the program.

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