EMS Pilot Program Begins for 3 Counties in Iowa

by Brian Wilson
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Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg says a pilot project in three Iowa counties may be a way to provide quicker emergency responses in rural areas.

Beyond the ambulance crews and E-M-Ts already in place around the state, the “Iowa United First Aid” program will train new groups of volunteers in Cass, Calhoun and Van Buren Counties in what Gregg describes as “C-P-R Plus.”

Gregg got the idea for the program when he visited Israel last year and learned about a smart phone app that alerts medical professionals if there’s an emergency nearby. Earlier this week Gregg was in Keosauqua to meet with over 30 people who’re starting volunteer orientation for the program in Van Buren County.

Gregg is also urging the group to provide feedback about how the program works and if changes may be needed.

The three counties involved in the pilot program have each gotten a 50-thousand dollar state grant, which is being matched with 25-thousand dollars in local resources.  Nearly all that money is being used to buy the bags and medical equipment for each of the volunteers. Gregg stopped in Kossuth County last year to discuss the idea, but local officials decided not to pursue it any further.

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