Katrina Altenhofen, State Director of Emergency Medical Services for Children of the Iowa Department of Public Health, was in Alta on Tuesday night, Sept. 16 to give the Alta Fire Departmen its new pediatric medical kit on behalf of the Nebraska/Iowa Kiwanis and the Alta Kiwanis. A kit was also presented to members of the Aurelia Fire Department. Members of the Fire Department and Kiwanis' P.I.E. partners were also at the presentation to see how the new equipment works in case of an emergency. Altenhofen showed the students some of the equipment in the med kit and talked to them about the importance of wearing seat belts and bike helmets. Members of the fire department also tried out the new backboard they received, strapping down one of the fifth graders to show the rest of the students what would happen if they were in an accident and needed to be placed on the board. The children watched with quiet fascination as the firemen strapped theirschoolmate in place.
The NE/IA Kiwanis Foundation chose the Emergency Medical Services For Children (EMSC) programs in the state of Nebraska and Iowa as their "Priority One" focus projects. When the foundation asked what could they do to help the children of these two states, the answer was obvious -- pediatric equipment.
To date the NE-IA Kiwanis has sponsored over 100 pediatric equipment bags within the state of Iowa to first responder and basic services who have been given priority status for funding. Along with the equipment, each unit receives two free hours of pediatric continuing education. A promise by the foundation to the state of Iowa is that they will support another 150 bags to qualifying services during the next year.
The Alta Fire Department was chosen as one of those areas to receive the support of the foundation thanks to a local match raised by the Alta Kiwanis group. This past summer matching funds were raised through a raffle sponsored by the Alta Kiwanis. With the addition of this pediatric equipment donation, all citizens regardless of age, will have the availability of life saving equipment.
It has relied on the generosity of volunteers to take EMS trainings, respond to emergency calls and then raise funds to support their respective units' financial needs. Having other community based service organizations recognize that a need exists and supply equipment provides an excellent visualization that exemplifies the meaning of "teamwork" and "community." One volunteer organization helping another volunteer organization is humanity at its finest.