Established in 1983, The Janesville 1st Responders is a group of volunteers, separate from the fire department, medically certified & professionally trained, focused on providing emergency medical assistance for the City of Janesville & surrounding area, 24/7, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Current Serving Members include,
Eric Ver Steegt First Responder Director EMT Serving Since 01/20/2015
Elijah Wright Assistant Director EMT Serving Since 10/15/2013
Kim Cross Secretary RN Serving Since 04/21/2020
Taylor Bellinger Training Officer RN Serving Since 07/21/2020
Paul Johnson Equipment Manager EMR Serving Since 08/20/2019
Missy Buesman EMR Serving Since 12/20/2016
Nicole Hodson EMR Serving Since 09/20/2011
Bryce Destival EMT Trainee Serving Since 03/17/2020
Gwen Cabalka Trainee Serving Since 08/15/2023
Eric Ver Steegt, Director
227 Main Street PO Box 146
Janesville, Iowa 50647-0146
Telephone: (319) 987-2905
EMERGENCY Dial 911
-199 Calls for service.
-Average response time of 4 minutes.
2022 Hazard Mitigation Plan for Bremer County
Left to Right; Bryce Destival, Elija Wright, Taylor Bellinger, Kim Cross, Nicole Hodson,Eric Ver Steegt, Baylee Ledesma, Michelle Devlin, Paul Johnson, Missy Buseman, Dan Phillips.
Not Pictured, Gwen Cabalka, Nikki Reeves
Crisis in EMS– If you have not heard about it yet, you soon will. EMS in Iowa is in a crisis. The EMS system is facing two critical issues – funding (reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, and insurance) and a severe lack of volunteers. EMS agencies staffed by volunteers are struggling for providers, especially during the daytime hours when most people are working. In Janesville, there are times when only one EMS provider is available.
You Can Help! The Janesville 1st Responders are looking for people to join our group! We will pay for your Emergency Medical Certification and training in return for a 2 year commitment to our group. If you are currently a Registered Nurse, no additional certification is required!
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions(and answers) to help start your journey of becoming an Emergency Medical Responder!
What are the stipulations to join? Must be 18 yrs old and possess a valid driver’s license. Membership is open to any person who resides in, or spends 30 hr/week working or residing in the Janesville First Responder service district.
How long does training take? The EMR (Emergency Medical Responder) Class is 64 hours spread out over the course of about two and a half months. The EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) class is roughly 132 hours with 72 hour Clinical time spread out over the course of about five months.
How much will this cost me? We will pay for your Emergency Medical Responder certification and training in return for a two year commitment or will pay for your EMT Certification for a five year commitment to our group! Gas money is on your own though, sorry!
How soon before I can start going to calls? If you are interested in joining, we encourage you to come to one of our monthly meetings. Fill out an application and once voted in as a probationary member (normally same meeting), we will give you a radio and pager. New probationary members are encouraged to come to calls to shadow and watch but MAY NOT enter a scene until a certified member has arrived.
When are your meetings? We meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 6:30pm, at Janesville City Hall. We provide monthly training and Continuing Education Hours to keep you certified!
What equipment does each responder carry? Each of our members carries a pager, a radio and a “Jump Kit” that contains medical supplies, tools, and portable oxygen. The Janesville 1st Responders and our EMS equipment travel by our own private vehicles to the emergency scene. The ‘on call’ responder and directors, each carry an A.E.D. (Automated External Defibrillator) and our LUCAS Device is carried by the director.
What is your coverage area? The area that we service extends north to 250th Street in Bremer County and south to the Cedar Falls City Limits in Black Hawk County. Our western boundary is the Bremer/Butler County line and our eastern Boundary is Wagner Road in Black Hawk County and Joplin Avenue in Bremer County.
How much of my time will this consume? In addition to call time, you can expect to attend 1 monthly meeting (roughly 2 hrs) and any community outreach activities you may wish to participate in (ex, Halloween Trick or Treat, Janesville Days Parade, CPR and Stop the Bleed Community Trainings).
What is your call schedule like? Once certified, we offer a flexible call schedule that allows you to sign up on dates that work for you! We ask members to cover minimally 24 weeknight hours a month, plus, 24 hour weekend hours a month. Day time shifts can vary for those who work in town, please inquire more if that is applicable for you.
How busy is your department? The Janesville 1st Responders average 150 calls per year, roughly 12-15 calls a month.
What kind of Calls to you respond to? When a call is made to 911, we are paged by the Bremer County dispatcher and respond to calls ranging from Medical, Trauma, Cardiac Arrests, Car Accidents, Lift Assist, House Fires, Natural Disasters, or any situation where emergency crews are needed at any time. First Responders are trained to assess the situation, provide medical and, lifesaving aid when needed, and keep the situation under control until an ambulance arrives.
I’m nervous about patient care, Will I ever have to give a patient drugs or start an IV? We believe in teamwork and try our best to assure that you never “run” a call by yourself! The Janesville 1st Responders are a BLS (Basic Life Support) service. Starting an IV or giving advanced "drugs" are not in our scope and can only be done by the responding ALS (Advanced Life Support) ambulance crew.
How can I learn more?
To volunteer or hear more about our team:
Eric Ver Steegt (319)987-2332 or any other current member!
-Please remember to take a little time to trim any trees or shrub that interfere with vehicles making it into your driveway.
-Make sure your 911 signs or house numbers are visible from all angles.
-Replace faded/missing house numbers
-For rural addresses, If you share a driveway with multiple residents where house numbers are all bundled together at the end of the driveway, consider placing a house number on your house itself.
-Google/Map out your own address and see if it pings correctly.