TARGET 8: Nine counties without a hospital in mid-Missouri

1 year 3 days 3 hours ago Wednesday, December 06 2017 Dec 6, 2017 Wednesday, December 06, 2017 3:00:00 PM CST December 06, 2017 in Target 8
By: Danielle Katz, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

MORGAN COUNTY - KOMU 8 News mapped out all of the hospitals and ambulance bases in mid-Missouri and found that nine counties in our viewing area do not have a hospital. KOMU 8 then mapped out driving directions using Google Maps and found numerous cities and towns that are at least 25 minutes away from the closest hospital. Even though ambulances can legally drive faster than the speed limit, on many of the roads in rural Missouri, that's not possible.

The following Google Map also lists information on how many beds are in each hospital and if the Department of Health Senior Services considers it as critical access, meaning it meets criteria for protection by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The nine counties without hospitals are:

  • Chariton County
  • Howard County
  • Miller County
  • Maries County
  • Moniteau County
  • Monroe County
  • Montgomery County
  • Morgan County
  • Osage County

These cities and towns KOMU 8 News mapped out are among those more than 25 minutes away from the nearest hospital:

  • Fayette- 27 minutes
  • Salisbury- 28 minutes
  • Paris- 30 minutes
  • Vienna- 30 minutes
  • Tipton- 31 minutes
  • Tuscumbia- 31 minutes
  • Belle- 32 minutes
  • Owensville- 34 minutes
  • Glasgow- 35 minutes
  • Stover- 36 minutes
  • Versailles- 44 minutes

In an emergency, minutes matter. The American Stroke Association said patients should get a CT scan within 25 minutes of initial symptoms. Lee Kempf, Mid-Mo Ambulance District administrator, said he knows this is not possible for his area, which covers two counties, Morgan and Moniteau.

“Anything that you can think of that, ‘Boy I think an ambulance should be there in 10 minutes,’ is just not going to happen when you’re that far away from people,” Kempf said.

He has worked in these counties for more than 20 years, so he understands that some people want to live away from the “rat race” of the cities.

“People have a tendency to like to be off the beaten path so that they have nothing but nature around them,” he said.

'There's no way we're going to get there in time'

But being so deep in nature can come with a consequence.

“If someone calls and says, ‘I don’t think my husband’s breathing.’ If they truly aren’t breathing, there’s no way we’re going to get there in time to do anything,” Kempf said.

Road conditions can make the distance worse, according to Kempf. Privately maintained roads, mud, snow and ice all pose a challenge.

“Those roads are sometimes virtually impassable,” he said. “You can have all the care in the world, and you don’t have the ability to get somewhere, it doesn’t matter.”

Ivy Bend, a town in Morgan County, can be up to an hour away from the closest hospital, Lake Regional Hospital. Kempf said his district answers multiple calls a week there, which can increase response times for other calls because of the total time it takes to answer.

“If we’re deep in Ivy Bend, the total time from the time we get the call until the time we get back in services is around two and a half hours,” Kempf said.

Jesse Jackson, who lives in Versailles, said he would most likely go to his local doctor if he was in a life-or-death emergency.

“If I was having a heart attack or a stroke or something, I would want to get somewhere quickly,” Jackson said.

He said he would ask his doctor to get a medical helicopter or whatever she needed to keep him alive because she lives 10 miles away from his house.

District concerned about future of its ambulance service

Kempf has two ambulances in Morgan County and two in Moniteau County. This number has not changed in his 20 years at the district, even though the number of calls has increased.

“When I first came here, we had four ambulances and we responded to a total of a thousand calls district-wide the first year I was here,” Kempf said. “We now respond to about 32, 33 hundred calls with the same number of ambulances.”

He said his district’s $3 million budget is tight because he operates with a $60,000 reserve and has to replace an ambulance each year. He is concerned about having to cut an ambulance in the future because of the cost of replacing one.

“If we don’t stay ahead of it, somehow, someway… that’s just something I don’t even want to think about,” he said.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia firefighters responded to a fire at Columbia Crossing Apartments on Towne Drive late Sunday night. Division... More >>
54 minutes ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:30:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Treacherous driving conditions and canceled flights could keep residents stuck at home for days as a nasty mix... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 6:25:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – A dog groomer in Osage Beach has made it a mission to train service dogs after she... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 2:08:00 PM CST December 09, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri faculty members are raising concerns that the system's move to offer buyouts to... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 11:47:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Officers with the Columbia Police Department responded to a shots fired call inside the Steak ‘n Shake on... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 10:38:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
JAMESTOWN - Grace United Methodist Church held its seasonal music recital on Sunday featuring a 117-year-old historic church organ. ... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 9:58:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
FULTON - Fulton police officers responded to the Fulton Medical Center regarding a possible assault early Sunday morning. According... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 9:00:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Kansas City woman was arrested Saturday and charged with multiple felony counts of possession of a... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, December 09 2018 Dec 9, 2018 Sunday, December 09, 2018 7:30:00 AM CST December 09, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - All weekend the Central Missouri Humane Society is encouraging people to come adopt animals. The humane society has... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:35:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Down Syndrome Guild of Central Missouri had its first learning seminar in Columbia on Saturday. The seminar... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 9:33:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia teen who was killed in a crash Saturday morning was a senior at Christian Fellowship School,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:55:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Karis Church in northwest Columbia held its third annual Affordable Christmas event early Saturday morning. This is... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 6:40:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- White House chief of staff John Kelly will be leaving his position at the end of the year,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:56:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - A Camden County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a car crash Friday on Route MM near Villages... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 2:47:00 PM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Only one person was injured after two overnight fires kept fire crews busy into the weekend. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 8:33:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Runners and walkers dressed up in holiday wear for the annual Jingle Bell Run in Columbia on Saturday,... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 08 2018 Dec 8, 2018 Saturday, December 08, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST December 08, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A formerly homeless veteran is helping other vets expand their horizons by cycling. Tyler Kempker leads a... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 8:53:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Despite smoke-free laws and the increasing popularity of e-cigarettes, a large number of Americans are being exposed to... More >>
2 days ago Friday, December 07 2018 Dec 7, 2018 Friday, December 07, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST December 07, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 19°
1am 21°
2am 21°
3am 20°
4am 18°