The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors have decided to approve a resolution that declares Emergency Medical Services as an essential service. The move was prompted by staffing and funding issues being experienced at all EMS hubs in Winnebago County.
The supervisors will now organize an advisory board comprised of representatives from all county cities to research the viability of a county controlled and funded EMS. Supervisor Terry Durby outlined how the representation will proceed.
The advisory board will look into such things as staffing, funding, and viability of all three hubs in Winnebago County. The advisory board will also take a look at how the programs should be funded, whether through a levy or additional taxation on Winnebago County residents.
The Resolution in it entirety is below:
RESOLUTION NO. 5-17-2022-01-01
A RESOLUTION TO DECLARE EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES (EMS) TO BE AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE IN WINNEBAGO COUNTY, IOWA AS AUTHORIZED BY IOWA CODE SECTION 422D.1
WHEREAS, the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors has the authority under Iowa Code 331.301(1) to “…exercise any power and perform any function it deems appropriate to protect and preserve the rights, privileges, and property of the county or of its residents, and to preserve and improve the peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort, and convenience of its residents”; and
WHEREAS, Winnebago County supports EMS to its residents and seeks to provide Emergency Medical Services to all its citizens and visitors; and
WHEREAS, ensuring efficient and effective EMS coverage is essential for maintaining the health and welfare of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors recognizes the importance of maintaining and advancing the level of care, capability, and coverage of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in Winnebago County; and
WHEREAS, on June 9, 2021, Iowa Senate File 615 was signed into law by Governor Reynolds, amending Iowa Code Section 422D.1, giving Iowa Counties the ability to declare EMS an essential service for their respective county, thereby making it possible for counties to propose additional funding sources for EMS to the county’s voters at an election.
WHEREAS, the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors, on February 16, 2022 directed that notice of the first meeting to consider this resolution be made and any other actions be taken as necessary to proceed with the process under Iowa Code Section 422D.1 to declare EMS to be an essential county service.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors, that: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is hereby declared an essential service in and for Winnebago County, Iowa, and the Winnebago County Board of Supervisors will exercise the necessary power and functions appropriate to preserve the health, safety, and welfare of Winnebago County residents and provide for an effective and efficient Winnebago County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System that allows for quality care for the persons living, working, or traveling in Winnebago County, Iowa. Exercising said necessary power and function includes, but is not limited to, the establishment of a Winnebago County emergency medical services advisory council and the proposition of a local option income surtax and/or ad valorem property tax to fund EMS to be voted upon by Winnebago County voters.
NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that adoption of this resolution will allow 1) For an election to be offered for voter approval of an ad valorem property tax not to exceed seventy-five cents per one thousand dollars of assessed value for EMS and 2) The creation of a county emergency medical services system advisory council to assist in researching / assessing the service needs of the county and guide implementation of the same under Iowa Code Section 422D.1.
NOW, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, if a proposition to fund EMS through either a local option surtax or ad valorem property tax, or some combination thereof, fails to receive a favorable vote by at least sixty percent of those voting on the question, this resolution shall be deemed null and void.
HEREBY RESOLVED by the Board of Supervisors for Winnebago County, Iowa, on
this 17th day of May 2022.
Passed and adopted the 17th day of May, 2022.
Susan Smith, Chairperson Attest: Karla Weiss, Winnebago County Auditor
Winnebago County Board of Supervisors