The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

JoCo supervisors give $1.3 million in supplementary funds to county ambulance services

The difference is because of a 106 percent increase in calls for service since 2010 and the rising cost of ambulance vehicles and supplies.
Emily Nyberg
Johnson County Emergency Medical Services team leaves the Johnson County Ambulance and Medical Examiner building in Iowa City to respond to a call on Thursday, April 6, 2023.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors gave $1.3 million in supplementary funding to the county ambulance services at the end of the budget year as a result of a growing call volume and rising supply costs.

In its annual report, the service reported receiving $1.3 million in county support in fiscal 2023 starting July 2022 to June 2023. During fiscal year 2022, the county reported a $40,642 difference in expense versus revenue.

Fiona Johnson, director of the ambulance department, said Sept. 13 at a Johnson County Board of Supervisors meeting that this increase is not a surprise.

Johnson said the change was a result of the program giving a 20 percent increase in staff wages, an extreme increase in the cost of medical supplies, and the cost of ambulance vehicles nearly doubling.

Johnson also said roughly 90 percent of the expense line covers personnel, medical supplies, and vehicle maintenance.

The department reported 14,673 calls last fiscal year — a 106 percent increase since 2010 and 2.5 percent increase from last year.

Johnson predicted an 8 to 9 percent increase in call volume in the upcoming year.

The ambulance service also increased staffing and added two new ambulances to its fleet. The county has  four ambulances available for 24 hours, seven days a week, and six ambulances available for 16 hours, seven days a week.

The program received a Firehouse Subs grant of $33,444 for a utility terrain vehicle that will make its debut at this Saturday’s Hawkeye football game.

County sees increase in public engagement in CPR education

Johnson said community engagement in the county’s CPR education increased this past year. In partnership with the Iowa City-based Rotary Kerber HeartSafe Community Campaign, the program will place CPR mannequins and automated external defibrillator trainers in the three main libraries in Iowa City.

The mannequins include an adult and infant version and will come with an available DVD or training packet with various translations.

Johnson County Board of Supervisors Chair Lisa Green-Douglass said the program’s report was very impressive.

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About the Contributors
Roxy Ekberg, News Reporter
Roxy Ekberg is a first year at the University of Iowa. In the Honors Program, she is double majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. Prior to her role as a politics reporter, she worked news reporter at the Daily Iowan and worked at her local newspaper The Wakefield Republican.
Emily Nyberg, Visual Editor
Emily Nyberg is a second-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic arts. Prior to her role as a Visual Editor, Emily was a Photojournalist, and a News Reporter covering higher education.