Rural paramedics cope with washed out roads - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rural paramedics cope with washed out roads

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For rural paramedics, just getting to the patient is half the battle.

"We want to save all the time we can," Brian Donaldson, Director of the Sumner Emergency Medical Services, said.

In a rural area, they have to cover more ground in less time, sometimes driving 40 miles.

"In the case of flooding we try to prepare ourselves for alternate routes," Donaldson said.

So when flood waters sweep out bridges and routes, success comes with planning.

"Then, hopefully, we don't get ourselves into a situation where they end up needing to be rescued ourselves," he said.

The station covers Bremer, Chickasaw and Fayette counties. When techs respond to a call in Bremer county, dispatcher can track them and redirect them around obstacles. But, Donaldson said, once they get into Fayette or Chickasaw, that becomes more difficult.

"We try to make a note," he said, pointing to a map of the area. "Obviously, number one is safety, we can't help anyone if we don't arrive on scene safely."

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