Portsmouth earns rescue certification
PORTSMOUTH — Portsmouth Fire and Rescue recently earned state certification for the rescue department.
Fire Chief Mike Leinen said the process was time consuming. “The first step was for the department to vote on it. Once that was accomplished, there is a standardized packet and checklist provided by the State of Iowa.”
The checklist ensured the safety of the transport vehicle, equipment, and trained personnel and had to be verified by Shelby County EMS Coordinator Jordan Sanders and Shelby County Medical Director, Dr. Scott Markham.
The packet was then sent to the state for approval and a final inspection of the vehicle and equipment was held.
Chief Leinen said the certification will benefit the town. “Prior to approval we still provided Basic Life Support Services (BLS) to the residents of Cass Township and neighboring areas. This just gives us another option of transporting a patient to higher levels of care in a timely and safe manner. If need be, we also have the option of meeting with Advanced Life Support (ALS) units enroute if need be, depending on the care needed.” Leinen pointed out that patients will be billed for transport, but it will be good to have those funds go to the local fire and rescue department.
Leinen said the decision to apply for certification was spurred by Tim Springman.
Springman earned his EMT license last August and asked the department why they didn’t transport patients. He began researching the number of calls Portsmouth Fire and Rescue had made in the previous five years, and calls had increased 80%.
“At that time, Portsmouth had no BLS transport option available. We also have a Mutual Aid agreement with Persia in Harrison County to assist with any medical calls they may need,” Leinen said. The need for transport assistance, along with rumors of Medivac’s uncertain future, led Springman to put together a presentation for the department and presented it in April. The members then voted to pursue the certification for BLS level transport for Cass Township in Shelby County.
The Portsmouth Rescue staff’s volunteer members include: Tim Springman, EMS CPT and EMT; Bill Slaven, EMT; Connie Miller, EMT; Donnie Kenkel, EMT; Craig Rau, EMT and RN; Cassie Voge, RN; and Ashley Klein, RN.
Portsmouth Fire and Rescue invites everyone to the fire station Monday, July 11 at 7 p.m. The lights will be flashing on all emergency vehicles in memory of previous department members and community members. At 8 p.m., children will be able to ride on the fire truck and check out some of the equipment.