PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - April 15, 2021 


President Biden sets a date certain to end America's longest war, and more information could be the decider for some reluctant to get the COVID vaccine.


2021Talks - April 15, 2021 


With overwhelming bipartisan support, the Senate takes up anti-Asian American hate crimes legislation, and President Biden officially announces a full military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Pandemic Could Boost Case for Iowa First Responders' 'Essential' Status

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Unlike police and fire departments, emergency medical services have never been classified as an "essential service" in Iowa. (Adobe Stock)
Unlike police and fire departments, emergency medical services have never been classified as an "essential service" in Iowa. (Adobe Stock)
 By Mike Moen, Public News Service - IA - Producer, Contact
May 26, 2020

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, Iowa's first responders say the state should no longer hold off on declaring Emergency Medical Services an essential service.

That status is something EMS workers in Iowa have sought long before COVID-19. Being declared "essential" would require ambulance service across the state, instead of relying on a patchwork of volunteers, agencies and providers.

Mark McCulloch, deputy chief of EMS for West Des Moines Emergency Medical Services, says he thinks the current crisis will prompt those who have resisted such a move to reconsider.

"The understanding of how important and how critical our services are, I think, is increased," he states.

McCulloch says the lack of guaranteed emergency medical services is especially a problem in rural parts of Iowa, where younger adults are moving away and reducing volunteer ranks.

Having the state approve a plan to guarantee emergency medical services would open the door to funding for EMS in these communities. But some tax revenue would also be needed, a move that some lawmakers oppose.

Stacy Frelund, government relations director for the American Heart Association of Iowa, says even though the state's budget has been battered by the economic downturn, that doesn't mean this funding should fall into a political debate.

"Being able to get them some more resources that they need throughout the state, I think is really, really important, especially now in the time of COVID -- when, you know, there's a lot of uncertainty," she stresses.

And beyond the current crisis, Frelund says rural areas need a stronger network of ambulance service for heart attacks and stroke-related calls.

Just before the pandemic, various bills were being considered in the Iowa House. Their supporters hope they see a revival as lawmakers take a long look at the state budget when they reconvene in early June.

Disclosure: American Heart Association of Iowa contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Smoking Prevention, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Best Practices