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
Missy Buesman Assistant Director EMR Serving Since 12/20/2016
Ali Simons Secretary EMR Serving Since 07/16/2019
Taylor Boos Training Officer RN Serving Since 07/21/2020
Will Schuldt Equipment Manager EMR Serving Since 10/17/2017
Traci Berry EMR Serving Since 12/04/2004
Nicole Einck EMR Serving Since 09/20/2011
Eli Wright EMT Serving Since 10/15/2013
Emily Schuldt RN Serving Since 04/21/2017
Paul Johnson EMR Serving Since 08/20/2019
Bryce Destival Trainee Serving Since 03/17/2020
Kim Cross RN Serving Since 04/21/2020
Nicki Reeves RN Serving Since 06/16/2020
Dan Phillips EMT Serving Since 06/16/2020
Michele Devlin* EMT Serving Since 10/21/2008
* Notes Associate Member, Associate Members are members with current EMR level or higher training but are not included in normal call rotation due to being outside the coverage call area for long periods of time or other various reasons. These members may attend and be given credit for training, respond to service calls, and perform other duties of full members for the benefit of the organization.
Eric Ver Steegt, Director
227 Main Street PO Box 146
Janesville, Iowa 50647-0146
Telephone: (319) 987-2905
EMERGENCY Dial 911
-133 Calls for service
-Average response time of 4 minutes
-Added 5 new members to the roster, and sent through training
-Replaced 3 handheld radios
-Provided 10 new Hi-Vis Coats for our members
-Bought a K9 Oxygen mask for Bremer County Sheriff Office
-Bought an A.E.D. for the Riviera Roose Event Center
Left to Right; Eric Ver Steegt, Will Schuldt, Taylor Boos, Emily Schuldt, Kim Cross, Missy Buseman, Nicole Einck, Ali Simons, Michele Devlin, Eli Wright, Bryce Destival, Dan Phillips
Not Pictured, Paul Johnson, Niki Reeves, Traci Berry
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.
Iowans may be surprised to learn that EMS is not considered an “Essential Service.” According to Iowa Code, law enforcement, fire protection, and the settling of fence-line disputes are “essential services” while EMS is not. There is currently no assurance that when you call 911 an EMS provider will respond. This includes nearby ambulance services! There is documentation of people in our area that have waited over 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.
You Can Help! The Janesville 1st Responders are looking for people to join our group! We will pay for your Emergency Medical Responder 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. When joining our group, we try to have classes in Janesville and try to schedule around the convenience of students and the instructor.
How much will this cost me? We will pay for your Emergency Medical Responder certification and training in return for a 2 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, 7pm, 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 140 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. The only “drugs” we carry are Aspirin, Glucose, and Oxygen. We make sure you have plenty of training and feel comfortable before administering any type of intervention. As a BLS service, starting an IV is 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.