Calhoun County Public Health Receives Grant for Pilot First-Aid Program

A county agency from the area has been awarded a grant for a first-aid pilot program.

Calhoun County Public Health is one of three organizations statewide to receive a 50-thousand dollar grant to test an innovative program aimed at decreasing emergency response times in rural Iowa. The funding was made available through the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. The program, called “Iowa United First Aid” is a model that was adapted from the Israeli nonprofit that translates to “United Rescue.” The Israeli model uses technology to crowd-source nearby volunteer emergency responders. It has driven response times down to an average of 90 seconds in cities like Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and to three minutes on average across the country.

In Iowa, the program will equip trained volunteers with an app on their phone that delivers 911 dispatch alerts when an emergency occurs in their vicinity. Volunteers will be trained and supplied with materials and equipment necessary to perform first aid, bleeding control, CPR, and use of an automated external defibrillator. The goal is for volunteers to quickly respond to emergencies in nearby areas and stabilize victims while an ambulance is on the way, decreasing the amount of time it takes to receive lifesaving assistance.

Along with Calhoun County Public Health, grants were awarded to the Cass County Board of Health and the Van Buren County Hospital.