40th annual U.P. EMS Conference goes virtual, sees decline in participants

The conference is the primary source for continuing education for EMTs in the U.P.
(UPHS-Marquette photo)
(UPHS-Marquette photo)(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 1:28 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The 40th annual UPHS EMS Conference kicked off Thursday, and coordinators say its decline in participants isn’t due to the event going virtual.

Simply, there’s fewer people seeking work in emergency medical services.

Between 250 and 500 people typically attend the conference, and this year about 180 people from the U.P. and Lower Michigan are participating.

UP Health System’s Director of EMS says this staffing issue is becoming noticeable in the community.

“We don’t have the bandwidth we once did to be everywhere. Right now we have ambulance calls that pile up,” said Alyson Sundberg. There may be four calls at one time so if you dial 911 you may be waiting for that ambulance to free up and come to your aid.”

The UPHS School of EMT has an EMS course starting in two weeks and takes two years to complete.

You can find out more about the program here.

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