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EMS FAQ’s

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EMS FAQ’s

Who is Henry County Emergency Medical Services (EMS)?  What do you do?

Henry County EMS is an advanced life support ambulance service provider.  We are licensed through the Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of EMS. We operate primarily in Henry County, located in Southeastern Iowa.  We do, however, provide coverage to some areas of Des Moines, Lee, and Jefferson Counties due to our proximity, and we will respond anywhere else we are requested.  Our number one mandate is to provide transportation of sick and/or injured persons within our service area to hospitals for definitive care. Henry County EMS responds to a wide variety of incidents, ranging from medical calls to traumatic injuries throughout the county. We also provide community services such as public education programs and medical standbys at special events such as The Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion.

How many ambulances does Henry County EMS have?

We have 4 advanced level ambulances that are staffed 24/7/365.

What is a Paramedic Specialist?  What is a Paramedic?  What is an EMT-B?

The above titles represent the level of training that an individual completes.  There are currently 5 levels of providers in Iowa.  Ranked from the highest level of training to lowest, they are; Paramedic Specialist, Paramedic, Intermediate, Basic, and First Responder.  There are numerous differences in skills that each level can perform.  The easiest way to understand the scope of practice for each level is to visit the Iowa Bureau of EMS website.

Are you affiliated with the Fire Departments, First Responder groups, and the Police Departments?

We are not affiliated with any of the Fire Departments or the Police Departments.  However, we do maintain an excellent working relationship with all of these departments and would not be able to provide the quality of healthcare without each department’s assistance and their commitment to their respective communities.

Do you charge for services?

Yes.  Ambulance service charges are based on the level of care that the patient receives.  In addition, there is a mileage fee.

How is the ambulance service in Henry County funded?

Under Iowa code, the county hospital can levy a tax (up to a specified mileage) to provide ambulance service (hospital-based or not). HCHC levies this tax that produces the equivalent of 10% of the operating budget. The remainder is through fee for service. Henry County residents are provided this service for approximately $6/capita.

Can I be transported to any hospital?

Yes.  We will transport to any hospital the patient or family requests.  There are certain circumstances in which injuries or the patient’s immediate condition may dictate which hospital a patient will be transported to.

When do I call 911? Who do I get when I call 911?

A call to 911 should always be a call for help.  Call 911 when somebody gets hurt or is sick.  Call 911 when you see someone committing a crime such as taking something that does not belong to them.  Call 911 to report a fire.  Call 911 if you see someone hurting themself or someone else.  Call 911 if you see a vehicle accident.  Most importantly, call 911 anytime you think life or property is in danger.  All 911 calls in Henry County are routed to a central dispatch at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.  All appropriate agencies (EMS, Police, Fire) are then dispatched to the incident.

How many calls do you get in a year?

We respond to approximately 2500 requests for an ambulance a year.

What type of calls do you get in a year?

The majority of the calls we respond to are emergent in nature such as vehicle accidents, heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, or accidental falls.  We also provide transports from one hospital to another or interfacility transports.  These transports are primarily performed because of the specialty care offered by the receiving facility that may not be offered at the originating facility.

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