Supervisors look at other Keokuk EMS facility options

County could purchase additional land near current bay


LEE COUNTY - County officials have changed direction a bit on where to house Keokuk EMS staff and equipment.

At Monday's regular meeting of the Lee County Supervisors, discussion and possible action could be taken on acquiring property at two locations in the city.

Previously the county had almost settled on property on Main Street just south of the Honda Motor Sports outlet. That property would have cost the county about $200,000 plus an additional $150,000 in renovations and construction costs for a new ambulance garage.

Last week, officials changed direction after supervisors toured the facility and county maintenance crews inspected the building.

Now officials are looking at property at 1514 Blondeau Street and/or a parcel at 25 N. 16th Street near the current ambulance bay. Plans could include tearing the current garage down with new construction to house the additional staff and equipment.

The county has taken over emergency services transporting in the community since Sept. 30 after Blessing Keokuk Hospital was closed by Blessing Health Care. Patients are being taken to area hospitals, predominantly Fort Madison's Southeast Iowa Regional Medical Center campus.

The county received about 30 days notice of the closure and had to scramble to set up additional EMS staff and equipment to handle the calls that would have typically resulted in an ER visit.

In a related issue, the county will also consider a resolution that could reimburse potential EMT candidates up to $2,100 for training to become a certified Step One EMT by the county.

The candidate would have to commit to work for Lee County EMS for at least one year, and would have to pass certification exams within 45 days of completion of training which would take place at Southeastern Community College.

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