Milwaukee facing ambulance shortage after companies drop out

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee officials are scrambling to handle emergency medical calls after two private ambulance companies ended their contracts with the city.

Acting Milwaukee Fire Chief Aaron Lipski said the department is dedicating two additional ambulances to basic 911 calls in order to bolster the remaining private ambulance services.

Lipski said it’s a short-term solution to an “enormous problem” that is putting a strain on the fire department’s 12 ambulances and its other crews.

“There is a burnout that I fear is coming if it is not already arriving,” Lipski said.

Private providers said Medicaid and Medicare don’t pay enough to cover the ambulance costs, which has led some companies to to drop out of the city system.

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