The challenges have mounted since the first cases of COVID-19, and emergency medical services across Minnesota have adapted with new protocols, treatment plans and personal protective equipment — and in some smaller communities, where emergency medical services are volunteer-operated, shifts have been hard to fill. Read and listen to the story about how EMS workers are coping here.

Lakes Region EMS workers and a Lakes Area police officer move a patient from their home during a call in Lindstrom, Minn., on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020
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Lakes Region EMS workers and a Lakes Area police officer move a patient from their home during a call in Lindstrom, Minn., on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 ×
Lakes Region EMS workers and a Lakes Area police officer move a patient from their home during a call in Lindstrom, Minn., on the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick wears a mask while taking vitals on a patient in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near North Branch, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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Paramedic Heidi Rennick wears a mask while taking vitals on a patient in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near North Branch, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick wears a mask while taking vitals on a patient in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near North Branch, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick starts an IV on a patient she picked up with partner John Aldrich in Lindstrom, Minn., the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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Paramedic Heidi Rennick starts an IV on a patient she picked up with partner John Aldrich in Lindstrom, Minn., the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick starts an IV on a patient she picked up with partner John Aldrich in Lindstrom, Minn., the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
A gloved hand holds on to the the outside of an ambulance as EMT's and paramedics from Lakes Region EMS prepare a patient for transport to a local hospitalin Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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A gloved hand holds on to the the outside of an ambulance as EMT's and paramedics from Lakes Region EMS prepare a patient for transport to a local hospitalin Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
A gloved hand holds on to the the outside of an ambulance as EMT's and paramedics from Lakes Region EMS prepare a patient for transport to a local hospitalin Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Lakes Region EMS paramedic and supervisor Brandon Trauba reviews a patient's medical history before helping a prepare a patient for transport inside of a group home near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.
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Lakes Region EMS paramedic and supervisor Brandon Trauba reviews a patient's medical history before helping a prepare a patient for transport inside of a group home near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
Lakes Region EMS paramedic and supervisor Brandon Trauba reviews a patient's medical history before helping a prepare a patient for transport inside of a group home near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
Lakes Region EMS prepare to move a patient with trouble breathing on to a stretcher before taking them to the hospital from a group home near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.
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Lakes Region EMS prepare to move a patient with trouble breathing on to a stretcher before taking them to the hospital from a group home near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
Lakes Region EMS prepare to move a patient with trouble breathing on to a stretcher before taking them to the hospital from a group home near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
EMT John Aldrich asseses a patient's vitals as paramedic Heidi Rennick provides care in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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EMT John Aldrich asseses a patient's vitals as paramedic Heidi Rennick provides care in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
EMT John Aldrich asseses a patient's vitals as paramedic Heidi Rennick provides care in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick administers drugs to a patient in the back of an ambulance who was having trouble breathing near Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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Paramedic Heidi Rennick administers drugs to a patient in the back of an ambulance who was having trouble breathing near Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick administers drugs to a patient in the back of an ambulance who was having trouble breathing near Lindstrom, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Lakes Region EMS supervisor Brandon Trauba drives to a call to meet up with an ambulance crew with lights and sirens on near Stacy, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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Lakes Region EMS supervisor Brandon Trauba drives to a call to meet up with an ambulance crew with lights and sirens on near Stacy, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Lakes Region EMS supervisor Brandon Trauba drives to a call to meet up with an ambulance crew with lights and sirens on near Stacy, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
EMT John Aldrich reads a board with patient information while waiting to prepare a patient for transport inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Aldrich and his partner, paramedic Heidi Rennick, firs
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EMT John Aldrich reads a board with patient information while waiting to prepare a patient for transport inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Aldrich and his partner, paramedic Heidi Rennick, first picked up the patiend earlier in their shift and were called back to bring them to a higher level of care. ×
EMT John Aldrich reads a board with patient information while waiting to prepare a patient for transport inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. Aldrich and his partner, paramedic Heidi Rennick, first picked up the patiend earlier in their shift and were called back to bring them to a higher level of care. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick prepared a mobile ventilator on top of a stretcher inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Ded. 17, 2020.
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Paramedic Heidi Rennick prepared a mobile ventilator on top of a stretcher inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Ded. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick prepared a mobile ventilator on top of a stretcher inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Ded. 17, 2020. ×
EMT John Aldrich dons PPE including gloves, a half face respirator, protective eyewear and a gown before entering the room of a patient that needs to be transported to a highe level of care inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn
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EMT John Aldrich dons PPE including gloves, a half face respirator, protective eyewear and a gown before entering the room of a patient that needs to be transported to a highe level of care inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
EMT John Aldrich dons PPE including gloves, a half face respirator, protective eyewear and a gown before entering the room of a patient that needs to be transported to a highe level of care inside of M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick walks to the ambulance to transport a patient in serious condition to a higher level of care in the metro in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
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Paramedic Heidi Rennick walks to the ambulance to transport a patient in serious condition to a higher level of care in the metro in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Paramedic Heidi Rennick walks to the ambulance to transport a patient in serious condition to a higher level of care in the metro in Wyoming, Minn., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020. ×
Two EMS workers at Lakes Region EMS deep clean the back of an ambulance during a shift
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Paramedic Mitch Rice, left, and EMT David Freerks clean the back of an ambulance between calls at the base in North Branch, Minn., on Dec. 17, 2020. 

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Paramedic Mitch Rice, left, and EMT David Freerks clean the back of an ambulance between calls at the base in North Branch, Minn., on Dec. 17, 2020. 

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Lakes Region EMS paramedics take a patient out of an assisted living setting before transporting them to the hospital near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.
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Lakes Region EMS paramedics take a patient out of an assisted living setting before transporting them to the hospital near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
Lakes Region EMS paramedics take a patient out of an assisted living setting before transporting them to the hospital near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
EMT John Aldrich examines a head injury on a patient in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near North Branch, Minn.,  on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.
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EMT John Aldrich examines a head injury on a patient in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
EMT John Aldrich examines a head injury on a patient in the back of a Lakes Region EMS ambulance near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. ×
EMT Caitlin Bjorgan, EMT John Aldrich and paramedic Brandon Trauba cover a patient in a blanket before transporting them to the hospital from an apartment building in North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020.
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EMT Caitlin Bjorgan, EMT John Aldrich and paramedic Brandon Trauba cover a patient in a blanket before transporting them to the hospital from an apartment building in North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020. ×
EMT Caitlin Bjorgan, EMT John Aldrich and paramedic Brandon Trauba cover a patient in a blanket before transporting them to the hospital from an apartment building in North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020. ×
EMT John Aldrich, left, and paramedic supervisor Brandon Trauba close the doors of an ambulance before taking a patient to the hospital near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020.
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EMT John Aldrich, left, and paramedic supervisor Brandon Trauba close the doors of an ambulance before taking a patient to the hospital near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020. ×
EMT John Aldrich, left, and paramedic supervisor Brandon Trauba close the doors of an ambulance before taking a patient to the hospital near North Branch, Minn., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2020. ×
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