Iowa sheriff’s office continues ALS program after trial period
Jasper County’s EMS program uses reserve deputy paramedics to respond to gaps in existing services, coverage
By Christopher Braunschweig
Newton Daily News
JASPER COUNTY, Iowa — With the 18-month trial period of Jasper County’s EMS enhancement program now commenced as of the first week of October, sheriff John Halferty strongly suggested the board of supervisors continue to support the program, which was designed to address service gaps and supplement volunteer agencies.
As a result of the trial period now ending, reserve deputy paramedics will still be responding to emergency calls but now the county will start billing for its services. Halferty presented a number of 28E agreements with nearby agencies and volunteer services that gives them the ability to bill at pre-established amounts.
“If the patient gets ALS (advanced life support) care and we are able to bill them and they’re able to pay through insurance or out-of-pocket, we’re simply asking for a $150 portion of that, which will be, in most cases, at least $150 or more for the service,” Halferty said at the Oct. 17 board of supervisors meeting.
Jasper County received 28E agreements from Baxter, Colfax, Gilman, Kellogg, Prairie City, Reasnor and Sully. Halferty said agreements are not needed for Mingo or Lynnville since they are both non-transport services and contract with other agencies to provide transport to patients in their towns.
“I also did not include Newton or Grinnell because Newton, obviously, is a career ALS service and we usually just provide assistance,” Halferty said. “And Grinnell, as of the first part of October, is now taken over from their previous ambulance service and are providing ALS service into our county as well.”
Halferty is excited to see so many communities jump on board with the program. The sheriff noted there will be no punitive or garnishment if the patient has the inability to pay. But if they have the ability to pay, Halferty said the county and local services have an obligation to try and recoup some of their costs.
Supervisor Brandon Talsma agreed and he commended the sheriff for the work being put into the program the past year-and-a-half.
The agreements state Jasper County will provide ALS services to primary service providers on an as needed basis to increase access to individuals throughout Jasper County and the surrounding areas. It also requires the participating agencies to reimburse the county $150 after providing services.