February 27, 2024

Sheriff’s office will use Iowa Speedway ambulance bay for EMS program

County partnership lets deputies use infield care center to store emergency vehicle

Iowa Speedway is giving the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office permission to use its ambulance bay to store an emergency response vehicle for the local agency’s advanced life support program, also known as the EMS enhancement program. The board of supervisors also approved additional amenities for the new space.

Jasper County Sheriff John Halferty presented a memorandum of understanding between the county and racetrack, which was unanimously approved by the board of supervisors. Halferty said the partnership with Iowa Speedway has allowed the sheriff’s office to use the infield care center site year-round.

Per the memorandum, the use of the site also includes use of the facilities and grounds for public safety training for law enforcement, EMS and fire agencies. Iowa Speedway will still pay for all utilities costs unless the bills increase by more than 5 percent each month while in use by the county.

In return the county will provide EMS support for mutually agreed upon events at the Iowa Speedway, upgrade the infield care center, maintain cleanliness and report any damages, relinquish the care center at events when needed, follow health and security protocols and ensure restricted access to the property.

“It would allow us a facility that would be workable and we’d be able to respond from,” Halferty said, later noting it takes only a minute or two to get from the sheriff’s office to the care center. “In addition, during their events, we would also partner with them to provide EMS staff when needed and as requested.”

Supervisors also authorized the purchase of insulated garage doors and a new heating and cooling system since the ambulance needs to be in a climate-controlled environment. The county accepted the low bids of $8,331 from Huffaker Garage Doors and $14,668 from Reeves Heating and Cooling.

The county is paying for the additions with the sheriff’s office’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funds.

In January, the supervisors approved the purchase of an ambulance for the county’s EMS enhancement program. The ambulance cost more than $354,000, and it was expected to arrive in six to eight weeks. It was at that time Halferty mentioned the idea of using the ambulance bay at Iowa Speedway.

Purchasing the ambulance also came out of the county’s ARPAfunds. Halferty said the ambulance helps the county prepare for the future, and he estimates the unit will last 10 years.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.