At the July 30th Henry County Health Center (HCHC) Board of Trustee meeting, the board approved the establishment of a planning committee, in collaboration with Jefferson County Ambulance Agency, to further explore the possibility of moving the current Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to a new regional service.
This past spring, HCHC and Jefferson County Ambulance Agency collaboratively retained the services of a consultant to determine feasibility of a regional Emergency Medical Service. The next step is to form a planning committee to start working through the details and requirements of a potential new service to serve the two counties.
Currently in Henry County, Emergency Medical Services is a department of HCHC. In Jefferson County, the ambulance service is managed by the Jefferson County Ambulance Agency, a board made up of three governing bodies including the Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) Board, Fairfield City Council, and the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors. In both Henry and Jefferson counties, the population served by EMS is 36,988 with a coverage area of 875 square miles. The two hospitals receive an estimated call volume of 4,000.
Due to the current EMS climate in Iowa, EMS must seek ways to be more efficient and effective in the services they provide. Increased government regulations, declining reimbursement for services, staffing issues, and rising costs associated with EMS are just a few challenges that EMS faces. By forming a regional service, emergency medical services will strengthen for the benefit of area residents, staff and the two health centers.