O'Brien County EMS committee to meet

O’Brien County Emergency Management Agency coordinator Jared Johnson is assisting with the coordination of a new advisory committee for emergency medical services in the county. The first committee meeting is set to take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, in Primghar.

PRIMGHAR—Jared Johnson wants to remind people that O’Brien County has a new advisory committee for emergency medical services.

The board of supervisors gave Johnson, the county emergency management agency coordinator, its blessing on Jan. 15 to move ahead with organizing the committee.

“I will be assisting with the coordination of the EMS advisory committee meetings,” he said. “Ideas and notes generated from the EMS advisory committee will be presented to the O’Brien County Board of Supervisors for review.”

The main goals for the committee are:

  • Identifying current EMS needs.
  • Identifying future EMS needs.
  • Reviewing ideas for EMS system development.

“Those are the three primary ones,” Johnson said. “They are broad goals. We will kind of start there and see where that leads us.”

The first committee meeting is set to take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, inside the Assembly Room on the first floor of the county courthouse in Primghar.

Johnson was not sure how often the committee would meet, but said that may be decided during the group’s first gathering.

“We’ll see how well the meeting goes, and evaluate how often this group wants to meet and when they want to meet next, and kind of go from there,” he said.

Johnson would like to invite the following people to attend the committee’s meetings if possible:

  • The mayor or an alternate city official selected by the mayor of each incorporated city in the county.
  • The ambulance team director or an alternate ambulance squad member selected by the director of each ambulance team in the county.
  • The medical director for each ambulance team in the county.
  • A member of the board of supervisors; board chair Sherri Bootsma and supervisor Dan Friedrichsen were appointed to the committee on Jan. 22.
  • A representative from Sanford Sheldon Medical Center.
  • A representative from MercyOne Primghar Medical Center, formerly Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital in Primghar.

“I’m hoping to get representation from each community and ambulance team so we can get input from each of those agencies, and also get input from the hospitals,” Johnson said.

He was not concerned about the potentially large size of the committee.

“The goal is just to get everybody together so everybody can hear each other’s input,” Johnson said. “If we would have to make subcommittees out of this, that could be a possible option, but for now we’re just going to stick with kind of what we have planned for the structure of this EMS advisory committee.”

The committee’s meetings will be open to the public.

“I want to have some structure to the meetings so we can accomplish our goals during the meetings,” Johnson said. “There will be some time if there is public input. If somebody wants to come and present something to the group, that would be great.”

The committee is being created because ambulance teams across the county are having trouble with volunteer recruitment.

“We want to start creating some ideas now and think about where we’re going to be at in five, 10 years and see if there is something that we can do now to start building to either help the communities that need help now or help the communities sustain what they have so we can keep on operating as we are,” Johnson said.