Struggling ambulance service faces fine while pleading for volunteers

By: - December 31, 2021 9:00 am

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A struggling central Iowa ambulance service is facing a $600 fine after it failed to correct all of the regulatory violations uncovered by inspectors last summer.

The Iowa Department of Public Health is proposing the Dayton Rescue Squad be issued the fine and a formal warning.

According to the department, state officials performed an on-site inspection of the Dayton Rescue Squad on July 29, 2021. At the time of the inspection, six deficiencies were identified and the service was given 30 days to correct the issues.

The service was cited for failure of the medical director randomly audit, on a quarterly basis, the records related to emergency medical calls; failure to maintain a current personnel roster utilizing a system to ensure all personnel are currently certified as emergency medical service (EMS) providers; failure to establish a policy that requires a complete assessment of patients to determine their transport needs; failure to submit data to the department with a month of services being provided; and failure to ensure medical and patient care supplies are monitored for expiration dates and are cleaned, laundered or disinfected.

According to the department, the rescue squad failed to correct any of the deficiencies, which is, in itself, another violation.

In addition to the proposed $600 fine, the department is proposing the service be issued a warning stating that continued failure to correct all of the remaining deficiencies, or failure to pay the $600 penalty within 30 days, might result in further disciplinary action, including suspension or revocation of service’s license to operate.

The Dayton service has been actively recruiting volunteers in recent months, positing fliers that say, “Volunteers are needed! Dayton Rescue is in jeopardy of losing our transportation service and are searching for individuals to join our team as both drivers and EMTs. If we do not have enough volunteers we may no longer be able to provide a vital transportation service to members of our community when every minute counts!!”

Dayton is a Webster County town of 772 people, and roughly 22% of the population is 65 years old or older.

The rescue squad president, Craig Johnson, did not return messages seeking comment.

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.