Emergency medical services on the ballot in northern Iowa
(ABC 6 News) – A few counties in northeast Iowa have to rely on ambulance services of other communities. That could change this November.
On the ballot in northern Iowa, voters will decide whether or not the county can collect taxes to fund emergency medical services in the area.
Currently, both Floyd and Worth counties have to rely on EMS services from surrounding communities.
Doug Kamm is a supervisor for Floyd County. He explains some of the reasons why the tax levy for these ambulance services is being introduced. “Volunteers are hard to come by; the hours are horrendous, and it’s a big commitment on somebody’s part to be a volunteer ambulance.
Floyd County has relied on other communities such as Nora Springs and Greene for ambulances. As for one of the biggest reasons why volunteers are hard to come by, Kamm adds “A lot of those volunteer ambulance people have to pay for their own schooling in addition to the volunteer hours they put into it.”
“There are places in the county that can be over an hour by the time you dial 911 before you get to the hospital,” Worth County supervisor Aj Stone said.
In Worth county, voters are being asked to make ems an essential service which would mean contracting ambulance services to be stationed in the county.
Floyd county voters are being asked to approve a 10-year, 556-thousand dollar-a-year levy that would come from income and property tax increases.
If the vote passes in Worth County, they hope to have their own ambulance service as early as fall of next year.