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Iowa officials warn man who allegedly posed as EMS provider on TV

The Iowa Department of Public Health sent a cease and desist letter to Eric Hansen warning he could face felony charges if he continues to present himself as an EMS provider

By Laura French

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health has issued a warning to a man who has allegedly been posing as an EMS provider after the man was seen on television explaining how he treated people after a storm.

Health officials said Eric Hansen is not currently a certified EMS provider and that his organization, the Helping Hands Activity Volunteer Program, is not an authorized EMS program, according to The Gazette.

The health department sent a cease and desist letter to Hansen saying he could face felony charges if he continues to identify himself as an EMT. Hansen was interviewed by local news station KCRG-TV9 after a derecho storm in August, and was seen wearing an EMT name tag while saying he and his organization had been checking people’s vitals and sending people to the hospital.

Iowa law allows organizations that are not authorized EMS programs to provide on-site emergency medical care as long as members do not identify themselves as certified EMS providers. The Gazette reported that Hansen’s certification was revoked in 2016, also for false identification, according to state records.

Hansen told The Gazette that he didn’t realize his name tag said “EMT” and that he had since changed it, and that his intention was to provide lower-level care after the storm to take some of the burden off of ambulance services.

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