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Iowa lawmakers could make EMS an essential service finally

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DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- A longtime conversation in Iowa could come to an end if a bill in the state legislature names EMS as an essential service.

"We're just looking to assure that if you call 911, somebody comes," said Kip Ladage of Tripoli EMS, who's advocated for the change for some time.

While we're approaching the second funnel deadline, where a bill will likely die if it hasn't met a certain threshold, House Speaker Pat Grassley sees the a lot of buzz around this particular bill, House File 562.

"I know there are active conversations going on between the House and Senate to see how we can find a bill to try to achieve that," Grassley said. "I know that one has the most action and activity going on with it right now."

Ladage said, like with any major bill, funding is always a concern.

"We're going to have to pay for it. If we want ambulance services we're going to have to pay for it. So, is that going to be a user fee, is that going to be a sales tax? Is that going to be a property tax? How are we going to pay for it?" said Ladage.

Still, the overall structure of rural EMS is fairly unstable.

"If our small town service were to close because we had a lack of volunteers we would be waiting for the next closes community, if they're avaiable. Cause, keep in mind, everybody is sort of helping each other out?" Ladage said.

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Taylor Vessel

Multimedia Reporter

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