JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa - So far this fiscal year the Johnson County Ambulance Services has already received over 9,000 calls, the most ever, director Steve Spenler said Wednesday. A majority of the calls have been for emergencies.
Speaking to the board of supervisors, Spenler asked for additional funding to allow staffing of a fourth ambulance during peak hours on Sundays and Mondays.
“The majority of our staff are feeling a little more stressed, a little more rundown,” he said.
The board okayed the request, but expressed concerns about future call volumes.
“I think it’s safe to say the call volume is increasing, the stress load is increasing,” said supervisor Janelle Rettig. “But this is just 16 hours.”
The move had already been planned for January, but Spenler said it was needed now. It will come at a cost of around $32,000.
Paramedics have recently been averaging 170 calls per week. At times call volumes have been so great, trained program supervisors have to respond to calls.
“We’re a growing county, I’m sure there’s a large number of reasons,” Spenler said of the increase.
Spenler said the move was a step in the right direction, but he expects to continue to ask for staff increases in coming years.