In October, 1981, a committee was appointed by the Pella City Council to study ambulance service in the area. “I believe we are obligated to provide public safety,” said then-Mayor M.B. Caldwell. “We want the service, but I don’t think the taxpayers should pay for it.”
In November, 1981, members of the Pella City Council approved the establishment of a permanent Pella Emergency Medical Council (PEMC). The council was composed of Robert Allen, Arvin Boot, Marge Gosselink, Dick Vander Laan, Bernie Van Ee, and Jim Emmert, and would operate as a separate entity from the city, the EMT group, and the Pella Community Hospital.
In December, an editorial in the Pella Chronicle noted that “the ball was in the community’s court,” and the community needed to help with the hardest part of the process, financing.
In December, the PEMC worked towards buying equipment, and sought an administrator. “We want this service to be as good as or better than what it has been,” said Council Secretary Dick Vander Laan.
A community fund drive was directed to raise $66,000 to buy ambulances and equipment, as well as radio paging equipment, and to hire a full-time director to coordinate the service and train volunteers. In April, 1982, Marvin G. Schultz of Sigourney became the director of the Pella Community Ambulance Service. In September, 1983, an open house was held by the Pella Community Ambulance Service, where equipment was displayed, a cardiopulmonary resuscitation demonstration was staged, and free blood pressure checks were given.
The service was given an automatic defibrillator to use through December, 1984 by the University of Iowa. Pella was the first service in Iowa to receive the defibrillator, which was used to restart the heart of cardiac arrest patients.
In 1984, Doug Polking became the new director of the Ambulance Service.
(more history to come)