Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Community Ambulance Team — known as SCAT in Sheldon — has recently taken possession on a new ambulance and put it into service.
Cindy Freeman, on the ambulance team, tells us a little about the new unit.
She says the city budget makes sure that they have the money to purchase a new unit when they need one.
According to Freeman, SCAT always has two ambulances, and the old “SCAT 1” was traded in for this new ambulance, and has become the new “SCAT 1”. Next time they get a new ambulance, it will replace “SCAT 2” and take its number.
She says, as you might expect — safety is very important to the ambulance crew, and this new ambulance has some great safety features.
She says they’re excited about the new unit.
The new ambulance, which is a Chevy, customized by the LifeLine ambulance company, runs on a different fuel, says Freeman.
She says she assumes the reason it uses gasoline is because diesel is becoming more expensive.
Freeman says the ambulance had its first call shortly after it came to town.
She says the SCAT members are glad to get the new ambulance in service.
Hawarden, Iowa — The Hawarden Fire Department has been busy. They fought one wildland fire on Wednesday (10/3) and one on Thursday (10/4).
On Wednesday, Hawarden Fire Chief Jon Strong says they were called to the intersection of B46 and K22 for a fire in a combined soybean field, about four and a half miles northeast of Hawarden. Strong says they saw lots of smoke on approach, but they were fortunate that the crop was out. They did call for mutual aid from the Ireton Fire Department. He says only about three acres burned, and the only thing they can come up with for a cause is a lit cigarette thrown from a vehicle. Crews were on scene for an hour and a half.
Then on Thursday, Strong says the Hawarden Fire Department was called to another wildland fire — this one was on 500th Street, west of Highway 12 between the pit and the river. That’s right by Chatsworth — about four miles south of Hawarden. The call went out about 3:15 PM. He says there was lots of smoke when they got there. Only about two acres burned, including a little bit of standing corn. But Strong says it looked worse than it was. They asked for assistance from the Akron Fire Department. He says they provided water. The cause on the second fire was a cornstalk on the manifold of a pickup that had traveled through the field, says Strong. Fire crews were on-scene of that fire for about an hour.
Sioux Center, Iowa — A Sioux City man was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital after a construction accident near Sioux Center on Thursday (10/4).
About 11:10 AM, the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a construction accident that occurred near the intersection of 350th Street and Grant Avenue, four miles northwest of Sioux Center.
It was reported that a dirt trench had collapsed on an employee of L.A. Carlson Contracting, from Merrill, IA, who were working at that location. Sioux Center Fire and Ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene along with sheriff’s deputies.
Rescue crews were able to extricate the victim, 20-year-old Nathaniel Christiansen from Sioux City. He was transported by Sioux Center Ambulance to the Sioux Center Hospital. Christiansen was later transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City by Mercy Air Care.
Orange City, Iowa — Sioux County Sheriff Dan Altena is the Republican nominee for Sheriff in Sioux County. And up until recently, he thought he’d have no competition in November. Then former Sheriff Jim Schwiesow announced that he would be mounting a write-in campaign for his old post.
Sheriff Altena tells us why he’s running again for Sheriff. He says he’s dedicated his life to public service. He’s been in law enforcement for 33 years, the last 8 as Sheriff.
He says people are looking for good quality of life. He says he thinks that’s a big component of good law enforcement — people who are willing to go out and put their life on the line.
He says recent events like the attempted abductions underscore the need for officers to be on their toes. He tells us about his philosophy of law enforcement.
He says the department is there to serve the public in any way they can. He says they get lots of types of calls. Sometimes people don’t want them there, but they help keep they public safe. He says through their enforcement efforts, they were able to lower accident numbers, prevent crime and make for a safer community. He also says the small school resource officer program has helped them connect with the next generation.
We asked him if anything will change if he’s re-elected.
He doesn’t plan any changes, but there are always things to build on. He says they will always keep up with technology and training. He also wants to expand the school resource officer program, and the drug task force.
He also says that using one of their deputy sheriffs as the emergency management coordinator has been good and made them more ready for disasters. Plus, they re-instituted the Sioux County Dive Team.
Since Altena’s opponent levied some pretty serious allegations against him regarding terminations, we decided to give Altena a chance to tell his side of the story.
He says that when people run against an incumbent, they try to blast that person and say they’re doing something wrong. Many offices go through personnel issues. He says unfortunately, those things are confidential personnel issues. People do things that cause them to be terminated, or it’s in the best interest of the agency to terminate them.
Altena says he has put some measures in place to make sure they do the right thing in those situations. He says they put an internal affairs division into place, and promptly look into personnel issues. He says the problem is if you are in law enforcement, it’s a big issue if policy is violated, as people’s lives are at stake. He says they take these issues very seriously, and always bring the county attorney into the discussion before a final decision is made.
Altena says he’s running for a reason.
He says if he didn’t feel like they had a good office or that he wasn’t doing a good job as sheriff, he wouldn’t run.
Click the play button (triangle) below to hear the whole interview.