Financial constraints are forcing a north-central Iowa community to close its only fire station.
Hamilton County Supervisor chairman Rick Young says the town of Randall, located just off Interstate 35, will have to depend on another town nearby for its fire and ambulance services in the future.
“Randall no longer has a fire department and they’re now going to be served by Jewell, mostly by Jewel Fire Department and EMS,” Young says. “Several of the Randall volunteers will reapply to Jewel and there will be a good batch of people down there to help.” Young says many rural Iowa communities are struggling with this ongoing problem, as resources are stretched thinner.
“Jewell also has partial responsibility for Story City,” Young says. “Story City has all the great amenities, a nice library, an $800,000 swimming pool, and they don’t have an ambulance, when they’ve got one of the larger senior care facilities throughout central Iowa, so it puts a burden on the people who volunteer here in Hamilton County.”
Randall is located about five miles south of Jewell. It would take Jewell fire trucks eight minutes to reach Randall, while the average time for ambulances to travel from Jewell to Story City is about 13 minutes.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)