Small Towns Faces Challenges To Maintain Ambulance Services

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(Le Mars) — This week is recognized as “National Emergency Medical Technicians Week”, a week devoted to honor those individuals that devote their time performing emergency medical assistance. Last evening, Floyd Valley Healthcare honored the county ambulance services by holding a dinner for the
local emergency medical volunteers, and other first responders. Kevin Rollins has been an ambulance service volunteer for 40 years with the Remsen Ambulance Services. Rollins, the former police chief for Remsen, now retired, says a bill was introduced
in the state legislature this year to make community ambulance services as a priority service, much like fire departments and local law enforcement agencies. However, Rollins says that bill did not pass through the Iowa legislature.

Rollins says the bill didn’t pass due to a lack of support and understanding by the lawmakers. He says so far, nobody has brought up a means to finance the project without increasing taxes.

Rollins says a common challenge among the smaller towns is finding enough volunteers to assist with a community ambulance service.

The Remsen Ambulance Volunteer says another concern for many small towns is raising the money required to train volunteers to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician. Rollins says small towns may have to invest up to $4,000 per volunteer to adequately train and certify the volunteers. The
Remsen Ambulance Services is preparing for an Open House celebration in June to mark 40 years of service.

There are 13 volunteers with the Remsen Ambulance Service.