To the editor:
As an EMT, mayor, and now having been a patient at an ambulance call, I know a bit about EMS in Iowa. Calhoun County has been a test county for proposed System Standards. There have been a few bumps and bruises. However, our county and the local departments are working together to make sure we have the best care possible. Our system keeps a close eye on each person providing care to make sure they are properly. We have a system in place so that our residents have a very quick response from our own, local service. We are a basic service, which provides enough care to save a life and deliver us to the hospital. Anytime there is a call, a paramedic is simultaneously dispatched, typically from Lake City, otherwise the county is paged. This way advanced care is immediately en route to provide additional services as quickly as possible.
I was the patient for an ambulance call six months ago when I had ventricular fibrillation and my heart stopped. There was no question that someone would quickly arrive at my house to save my life. Within five minutes the Lohrville ambulance was at my house and within 15 minutes paramedics were on scene. EMTs were at my house quicker than that to take over CPR from my wife (also an EMT), once the ambulance arrived they began to use our Automatic External Defibrillator to get my heart beating again. My call went very well, as our protocol is set up. Moreover, it was incredibly successful. The success of my call is due to all of the hours our EMTs and drivers put in attending meetings to stay informed, attending training sessions, testing our equipment, checking our supplies, and making sure our ambulances are in top shape. Then, after all of that volunteer time they have to fill out a lot of paperwork to prove that they did all of that.
All of the Lohrville ambulance crew are volunteers and work very hard to raise the money to keep our service equipped and functioning. Funding is our biggest struggle. Without the generous support of people in our town the Ambulance service almost ran out of money last year. Our county service, the Lake City service and all in EMS work hard to keep us protected. The least we can do is say “thank you.”