A preview of the new Emergency Services building
By Cheryl Parker

The Rural Woman’s Study Club enjoyed a tour of the new Jesup Emergency Services building during their meeting May 9. As city employee and fireman James Masteller led the group from room to room, one couldn’t help but be impressed by the range of services this group of volunteers provides. One room with a large window up front is dedicated to high tech weather spotting equipment. Masteller commented sending people out at night to look at sky conditions was really not that productive. Jesup’s EMS team is connected with the entire grid of emergency service providers.

Another locked room is devoted to medical supplies storage. He opened the fire rescue truck to show the group its contents. It is packed with nothing but tools they need on the job (jaws of life, resuscitation equipment, etc.)

There is a large room filled with tables which is an excellent place for their continuing education programs and also serving meals. It is right next to a fully functional kitchen. The first thing one notices when walking into the kitchen is that every hanging cupboard is packed with trophies on top. The trophies run the gamut of activities. Masteller joked “This one is my favorite!” In the shape of a microphone, Masteller won this one for the team in a lip-syncing contest. It looks like the team that works so well together also plays well together (and that they desperately need a trophy case.)

Continuing on to the large vehicle storage area, one notices a large, shiny blue machine. “It’s our air machine,” explains Masteller. “Cost 80 grand!” It fills the air packs they carry on their backs when entering a burning building. Neatly stacked next to the machine are the filled cannisters, ready to go at a moment’s notice.

As one looks around the garage, it is noteworthy the number of vehicles they have, all with their particular functions. The tanker truck carries 3,000 gallons of water to rural areas, or anywhere hydrants are not available. It can empty into a pool in five minutes where it is sucked out by the general-purpose trucks. There are two pickup style trucks which are most useful in grass fires. They have a boat for water rescue.

Because the Jesup Fire and Ambulance Departments serve a large rural area, they often work with neighboring towns. One quarter of their jurisdiction lies in Black Hawk County, so that means they have to be knowledgeable about administrative type variances as well. Masteller notes there is a particularly good working relationship with Independence. They often combine crews to get the minimum required for on-location training classes.

There is quite a bit of cross training between the Fire Department and Ambulance crew, but they both have abilities unique to their department. Because there are more firemen available in town, often one of them will drive on an ambulance call in order to free up the ambulance crew to administer aid. At this time, Masteller put in a plug for more volunteers to join the ambulance crew. Successfully completed training is paid for by the City of Jesup as long as a minimum service requirement is met.

Every piece of equipment is tested every month to ensure it is functional when needed. The Firemen meet every second and fourth Thursday of the month for training. The ambulance crew also meets once a month for training.
All of these emergency service providers work on a volunteer basis, they do not get paid for making these life-saving calls. They do it because they want to serve their community.

There will be a public open house at the new building, it has not yet been scheduled. The old fire station has yet to be razed, to allow north-side access to the building, and completing the project.
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