Algona EMS

Algona EMS Algona EMS is based out of Algona, Iowa and proudly serves the great people of Kossuth County
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05/06/2019
Paramedics on Facebook

Paramedics on Facebook

Welcome to EMS by Kelly Grayson

Welcome to the profession whose entry-level practitioners — you, in a few months — rank 4th from the bottom in the Bureau of Labor Statistics salary rankings. The only people paid less than you are pre-school teachers, dishwashers and meatpackers. The guy riding on the back of the garbage truck, or holding a sign at a highway construction zone, makes more money than your EMT instructor. Likely, a lot more.
And none of those people are required to make life-or-death decisions. You will.
It is a profession where the line-of-duty death rate is comparable to firefighters and police officers. For those of you who aspire to flight paramedic status, that particular niche is by far the most dangerous profession in America — ahead of loggers, miners, and Alaska crab fisherman.
It is a profession whose divorce, suicide and substance abuse rates soar far higher than the general population. The average career expectancy of an EMT is five years.
Five years.
Some of you will go on to jobs in nursing or other healthcare fields. Those of you that don’t move on to nursing or PA school will leave EMS with a career-ending back injury, or leave EMS healthy but not whole; jaded and cynical, your idealism burned away in the furnace-like reality of our profession, your faith in the innate goodness of man gone like so much ash and smoke up the chimney.
You’ll be disrespected
You will be disrespected by patients and bystanders who don’t know any better, and belittled by doctors and nurses who should. And many of you will endure the abuse for free labor, donating your services as volunteers.
So why do I tell you this? Well, they call it informed consent, a concept you’ll learn about in the first few chapters of that EMT textbook you’re carrying. Before you agree to the abuse you’re about to suffer, it’s only fair that you know what you’re getting into.
And it’s not what you think.
You will sift through broken glass and twisted metal, wade through urine and feces and vomit, weather heaping torrents of verbal abuse from the people you’re trying to help, all for the prospect of a few dollars on payday, and perhaps…just perhaps…a show of gratitude now and again.
I’m here to tell you that what you’ve been promised is a lie, if only a little white one. When you’re green and idealistic, the romance and thrill of EMS is powerful. All of us were adrenaline junkies at some point. Plus, there’s a decent chance it might even get you laid. What’s not to like?
You won’t save that many lives
But you will soon discover the hidden truth, the one that drives most people out of our profession:
We don’t save that many lives.
Lifesaving may be what we train for, but the opportunity to actually save someone comes all too rarely, and when it does present itself, the outcome depends more upon luck and timing than our skills. In my career, I’ve had my share of code saves. Some of them even made it out of the hospital alive. Others hung on just long enough for their families to tell them goodbye. I’ve made the critical diagnosis, gotten the tough airway, turned around the crashing asthmatic, and stabilized the shocky gangbanger with multiple unnatural holes in his person. I’ve needled chests, paced, defibrillated, and cardioverted, and given countless drugs.
But, other than a handful of exceptions, I can’t state with any certainty that my actions were the difference between life and death. In that handful of exceptions, all but one or two were saved simply by applying the techniques that any John Q. Citizen with a basic first aid course could have done. Ask your instructor if you don’t believe it’s true. They’ll tell you the same thing.
The reality of the profession
The reality of your profession isn’t exciting rescues and cardiac arrest resuscitations twice a shift. Your reality will be dialysis transfers and people who can’t poop. It will be toothaches at 3:00 am, and you’ll have to maneuver your stretcher around five parked cars to get to the front door, and weave your way through five able-bodied drivers to get to the patient with a complaint so minor you can’t believe they called 911 for it.
So why, if you’re not going to save all that many lives, should you even bother?
You should bother because EMS is a calling. Even when you leave EMS, it never really leaves you. It’s what Henry David Thoreau meant when he said, “Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.”
You should bother because, even if we’re not saving lives, what we do matters. It matters in ways unnoticed by us, to people you may not even remember tomorrow.
You should bother, because EMTs are privileged to play in life’s great game. Too many unlucky people watch the action thunder by, stuck at a desk, or watching it on television at home.
You should bother, because it’s the little things that matter. Most of your patients are ignorant of your skills. Few of them understand the technology you wielded so expertly. But they’ll remember the smile you gave them, or the way you tucked the blanket in to ward away winter’s chill, or the way you stood in the rain, getting drenched as you held the umbrella over them as your partner loaded them in the rig. They’ll remember calm competence, and gentle speech.
They’ll remember the joke you made to lighten the tension. They’ll remember those things and more, and they’ll remember your face long after you’ve forgotten theirs.
You’ll be remembered
They’ll remember you because, even though they were just another call to you, you were a major player in a defining event in their lives. They’ll come up to you, years after the fact, and say, “I remember you. You take care of me when I had my heart attack.”
And likely all you did was apply oxygen and take them to the hospital. Maybe you helped them with another dose of nitro or encouraged them to take an aspirin — really nothing they couldn’t have done themselves. But you’re the one they remembered, and you’re the one they thanked.
You should bother, because in the tapestry of human existence, you get to contribute your own unique stitch. You get to make your mark in ways that cannot be quantified on a spreadsheet or a profit and loss statement. Not everyone gets to touch the life of another, but EMTs do.
You should bother, because when people are at their most vulnerable, they will invite you into their homes and tell you things they won’t even tell their priest. And they’ll expect you to make it better somehow. I’m not sure you understand now how profound an honor that is, but hopefully one day you will.
The question is, can you be worthy of that honor?
If you think so, then welcome to EMS. Do us proud.

(Source: ems1.com)

Algona Cub Scouts Pack 29 learn First Aid at Algona EMS!
05/05/2019

Algona Cub Scouts Pack 29 learn First Aid at Algona EMS!

The takeaways from this story:1. Providing EMS is expensive and getting even more so. As volunteerism declines, more pai...
05/01/2019
KWWL

The takeaways from this story:

1. Providing EMS is expensive and getting even more so. As volunteerism declines, more paid staff are required. As paid staff are hired, volunteerism declines further.
2. Reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and Wellmark (Blue Cross Blue Shield) are insufficient to sustain EMS. Typical overall reimbursement rates are around 45% of the true cost of providing service.
3. If nobody wants to pay for EMS, services can close with no replacement in place. It's not an essential service. If you call 911, you could be told that there is no ambulance service covering your area, and you will need to find your own way to the emergency room.

If an agreement isn't reached, Chickasaw County could have no ambulance service come July 1st.
After reading the article, what do you think of the situation? https://kwwl.com/news/2019/04/30/chickasaw-county-ems-could-end-in-july/

Algona EMS
04/26/2019

Algona EMS

This week, we honor the telecommunications specialists and dispatchers who watch over our public safety personnel and ou...
04/15/2019

This week, we honor the telecommunications specialists and dispatchers who watch over our public safety personnel and our community. Everything we do starts with them. The information they collect and the decisions they make in the first moments of an emergency often determine the outcome.

When we find ourselves in over our heads and needing help, they are the ones we call. Thank you for answering that call!

Thank you, Kossuth County Community Foundation, for the funding to support the Algona EMS Association's purchase of a St...
04/11/2019

Thank you, Kossuth County Community Foundation, for the funding to support the Algona EMS Association's purchase of a Stryker PowerLOAD ambulance cot system.

The system purchased with these grant funds will make loading and unloading of patients much safer for our EMS providers and for our patients. In addition, the PowerLOAD system meets a higher standard for cot securement and will provide a safer ride to the hospital for everyone.

We are truly grateful to be a part of such an outstanding community in Kossuth County!

Congratulations, Marc Bacha, on this very well-deserved award! The people of Algona are fortunate to have you serving us...
04/11/2019

Congratulations, Marc Bacha, on this very well-deserved award! The people of Algona are fortunate to have you serving us, and we thank you for your tireless efforts to make our city a better place every day.

The Algona Police Department is proud to announce that Patrolman/Investigator Marc Bacha has been awarded the 2019 Law Enforcement Victim Service Award from the United States Attorney's Office for Northern Iowa. This award is presented to an officer for his or her service to the victims of crimes and for the creation of enhanced services and programs.
Representatives from the US Attorney's Office will be in Algona Friday, April 12 to present Marc with this award. The short presentation ceremony will take place at 1:00 pm in the Algona City Council Chambers. Anyone wishing to attend are encouraged to do so.

I was going to post a picture of my pancakes, eggs, and sausage breakfast, but I couldn't wait, so here's my empty plate...
04/06/2019

I was going to post a picture of my pancakes, eggs, and sausage breakfast, but I couldn't wait, so here's my empty plate instead. You'll have to come to the Algona Fire Station to get your own.

Come out, bring the family, and support our partners!

A future leader in healthcare, and we're proud to say he's one of us! Keep up the good work, Ethan Young!
04/03/2019

A future leader in healthcare, and we're proud to say he's one of us! Keep up the good work, Ethan Young!

Congratulations to #USDPIKES' Ethan Young ('19 Initiate) for being this week's PIKE of the Week! Ethan serves as Alumni and Parent Relations Chairman and has done an incredible job so far. We look forward to seeing everything he will accomplish! φφκα, brother!

Congratulations to our own Mindy Baker on passing the NCLEX and becoming a Registered Nurse!We know it was a bumpy road,...
04/01/2019

Congratulations to our own Mindy Baker on passing the NCLEX and becoming a Registered Nurse!

We know it was a bumpy road, but we never doubted that you'd succeed.

03/13/2019
House layout

Please watch and be thankful to all the men and women who protect us

Police officer sees young mom holding lifeless toddler – then he realizes the truth and rushes out of his car.

Pass this on to honor this brave officer ❤️

MedicTests.com
03/07/2019

MedicTests.com

This story sounds remarkably familiar. Here in Kossuth County, I've had some good discussions with the Board of Supervis...
03/04/2019
NY county struggles with how to solve EMS dilemma

This story sounds remarkably familiar.

Here in Kossuth County, I've had some good discussions with the Board of Supervisors, and they are committed to making EMS work. I have no doubt we will find solutions, but there are many options we will need to evaluate.

I appreciate the tremendous support our citizens have been providing as we look for answers, and I ask for your continued support of all of our EMS services in Kossuth County.

A drop in the number of volunteers has resulted in squads having to pay EMTs, but the pay rates and lack of fringe benefits have not kept shifts filled

8 things we wish the general public knew about EMS
02/27/2019
8 things we wish the general public knew about EMS

8 things we wish the general public knew about EMS

After watching yet another television show that attempts to glamorize public safety providers, I thought about what really goes on inside our world

Algona EMS wants to salute Kossuth County Deputy Roger Fisher (pictured, on patrol) for enduring a nearly 20-hour shift ...
02/25/2019

Algona EMS wants to salute Kossuth County Deputy Roger Fisher (pictured, on patrol) for enduring a nearly 20-hour shift overnight, aiding those stranded by the winter storm.

Thank you for your service, 55-5!

02/24/2019
Algona Police Department

Algona Police Department

By the authority of Kossuth County Public Safety Entities, the entire county is shut down, no travel advised and tow ban is in effect for the county and cities.

Algona Police Reserve Unit
02/24/2019

Algona Police Reserve Unit

The second round of weather is upon us. There will quite possibly be a crime ban tonight along with a tow ban that is already in place. However. If you should decide to do crime anyway, we will be there. Kevin said he bought a family sized bag of Doritos and even he is staying out of the ditch tonight. So should you. #snowmageddon #snowpacalypse #windecimation #icetastrophe #ditchdisaster

Our IEMSA Board Members and other EMS professionals, at the Iowa Capitol, waiting to talk with our legislators about imp...
02/06/2019

Our IEMSA Board Members and other EMS professionals, at the Iowa Capitol, waiting to talk with our legislators about important EMS issues - creating a sustainable funding source, participating in the REPLICA interstate licensure compact bill, and designating EMS as an essential service.

Safe Call Now
02/05/2019

Safe Call Now

Keep being awesome and thanks for everything you do!

Be safe today
01/30/2019

Be safe today

To all those who don't have an option but to work in the sub-zero temps, we thank you!

Safe Call Now
01/29/2019

Safe Call Now

♥️

Algona EMS
01/26/2019

Algona EMS

01/26/2019

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about EMS volunteerism lately and I’ve come to some interesting perspectives.

Tomorrow morning, the Vocal and Instrumental Promoters (VIPs) from Algona High School will be assembling hoagie sandwiches for a fundraiser. It sounds like they are very short on volunteers, so I’ll be going to lend a hand. From my understanding, the main requirements of this job are to show up for about two hours and put slices of meat and cheese on bread, then wrap the sandwiches.

A couple weeks ago, the VIPs hosted their soup supper, for which they were also short staffed on volunteers, so I went to help. My jobs included helping families with small children carry bowls of soup and glasses of lemonade to their tables, and mastering the skill of wiping down tables with a washcloth and bucket of soapy water. This shift was again, a couple of hours long.

At my church recently, it was time to take down the Christmas decorations, and as most of you would suspect, after church, most people filed out the door and on to their planned Sunday activities. I don’t fault them – I’m sure many of them had other plans with family or other commitments. But a small group of volunteers stuck around to take down the wreaths and trees, box them up, and put them away in storage until next Christmas season.

In all of these cases, there really weren’t enough volunteers to get the job done as quickly and effectively as we could have if we had adequate help. At first, I thought, “Well, it’s the same in EMS. We don’t have enough volunteers to do the job either.” But then I realized that calling our unpaid EMS providers “volunteers” isn’t really accurate.

The kind of people who step up to do this work for little or no compensation aren’t “volunteering” to do it, they are “called” to do it. It is a “calling.” Here’s why:

First, to “volunteer” to be an EMS provider, you have to commit to attend a $1700 college-level training class for about 4 hours a night, twice a week for about 5 months, complete with quizzes, tests, labs and a final exam. I didn’t have to attend nearly that much training to learn how to make a hoagie or wipe off a table. Next, the EMS “volunteer” has to take a scenario-based psychomotor exam to demonstrate in a realistic setting their skills and knowledge proficiency. They also take a very challenging computer-based multiple choice test to verify their competence in a variety of areas. IF they pass these tests (many don’t), they will be issued a license by the State of Iowa authorizing them to function as an Emergency Medical Technician. I don't recall taking a sandwich-making exam for my recent volunteer experience.

Passing the class and the tests does not mean that someone will be a successful EMS provider. Our communities expect us to be people of the highest quality. We must have qualities such as compassion, honesty, integrity, and sincerity. If you lack these qualities, you will not be a successful provider. If you have a history of unethical behavior, our patients (and likely your partner) will not trust you.

Next, the “volunteer” begins his or her orientation and on-the-job training with the service for which he or she will be volunteering. “Volunteers” learn the basics of operating an emergency vehicle, the state laws regarding vehicle operations, how to operate the public safety radios, how and when to use the emergency lights and sirens, and how to operate the vehicle in a manner that provides stability and safety for the patient and provider in the back of the ambulance. The “volunteer” also learns how to operate all of the specific, specialized equipment that may be used by his or her service – vital signs machines, cardiac monitors, ventilators, CPAP devices, oxygen systems, IV pumps, and so on. Once the “volunteer” has mastered all of this, he or she may be cleared to finally start “volunteering.”

When was the last time you went through this sort of preparation to volunteer for a project for your church, service club, or other organization? For that matter, did you have to go through this level of training prior to starting your current fulltime job?

As I stated earlier, I have recently volunteered to make sandwiches, wipe off tables, and carry boxes of Christmas decorations to a storage shed. What do we expect of our EMS “volunteers”?

Here’s an accurate job description for a “volunteer” EMT:
- Be willing to commit at least 24 hours per week to being immediately ready to respond without notice to the workplace. - Must work days, nights, and holidays. - Be ready to respond regardless of weather or road conditions. - Be prepared to see the worst side of society – abuse, neglect, violence, and mental illness. - It is common to be exposed to blood, vomit, urine, and feces. - Must be able to stand in extreme cold, driving rain, and severe wind for hours if necessary. - Must be able to lift 600-pound unresponsive patients with the assistance of a partner. - Must be able to explain to an elderly man at 3:00 AM that his wife of 65 years has died and you will be stopping CPR. - Must be prepared to comfort victims of sexual assault. - Must remain alert at all times and be prepared to protect self and partner from violence.

How does this list compare to what was expected of you the last time you volunteered for an organization?

These people are not “volunteers.” They are simply unpaid experts.

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1515 S Phillips St
Algona, IA
50511

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