Ambulance needs move city council to add paid position

Somebody call 9-1-1; but will Tama be able to answer that call? According to Don Weitzell, if it had not been for himself and Larry Thomas this weekend they may not have been able to answer. The ambulance department is in that sort of dire straights.

“Now it’s getting critical,” said Weitzell at Monday’s Tama City Council meeting. Tama’s volunteer ambulance is hurting for help. Weitzell was once again before the council expressing concerns about the lack of volunteer staffing for the ambulance department. Volunteers that were once able and willing just aren’t there anymore Weitzell alluded on Monday. “Filling the weekends is the worst right now,” said Weitzell. The ambulance department is down in volunteers for a variety of reasons including some related to COVID-19.

The need has led Weitzell to request adding a part-time paramedic to their staff. Hours would be from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sundays.

The pay would be $16-18 per hour for a CCP or a Paramedic, $15 per hour for an AEMT and $14 per hour for an EMT. Those applying must be Iowa state or NREMT certified CCP, Paramedic, AEMT or EMT with AHA CPR, PALS, and ACLS endorsements.

Job duties include:

•provide quality patient care with efficiency and professionalism

•assist in run audits and CQI procedures and policies

•perform truck inspections and stocking

•janitorial services including station cleaning and maintaining

•other duties in building/grounds as may be needed

The city is still weighing options for how to pay for the position. A couple of options include raising local sales tax or borrowing from the big money the city has access to.

“Go ahead and get someone on staff and we’ll figure out how to pay for it later,” said councilman Larry Thomas. Thomas has been an ambulance volunteer for many years.

Mayor Doug Ray said he would reach out to Tama Paperboard to work out some sort of deal that staff can leave to take emergency calls as there are numerous paper mill staff who also serve on the ambulance. The concern staff has with that idea is that while they may be allowed to take a call would they get paid for the time they are gone. Currently they aren’t paid if they leave shift for a call.

The council including Larry Thomas, Aaron Haughey and Matt Beatty voted to approve the new position. Emily Babinat and Anne Michael were absent from the meeting.

Library Windows

The council voted at a previous meeting to approve the windows be covered. The library board only wants to do $5000 worth of work a year.

Advertise bidding for the labor of the project. The city would furnish supplies for repairs. Covering of the windows is what is going to happen

9th Street Curb and Gutter

Planning was deferred until 2022 due to city finances. Work would then potentially begin in 2023.

Hire Summer Help

Two people applied for the city summer help position. The council approved to hire Donovan Horne part time for the position.

Ed Hardon Grant/Loan application

Hardon’s, Inc. purchased buildings formerly owned by the Chymas on 4th Street. The council approved a loan application from Hardon’s Inc. for $25,000.

Flex Fitness – loan subordination

The council voted to deny the request made by Ashley Ailsworth.

Yearly Donations

The council approved donations to the Food Pantry for $200, Meals on Wheels for $200 and City of Toledo fireworks for $4000. A donation to STC REC will be looked into as there was no REC program this summer due to COVID-19.

Eagles Street Closing

The street closure was approved from 4-10 p.m. for Friday, July 10.


Thomas discussed nuisance properties. Haughey discussed his experience with a recent fire department training. He also talked about mosquito spraying.