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Paramedics show up to celebrate Independence Day

Paramedics show up to celebrate Independence Day

Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Pleasant Police Department, Mt. Pleasant Fire Department and other first responders respond to Independence Day celebration

MT. PLEASANT — From parades to meeting local heroes, first responders received recognition and showed gratitude to each other and their communities across Henry County this Independence Day.

An American flag flutters in the wind against a very welcome blue sky from atop the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department’s new ladder truck on July 4. (Photo courtesy of Dave Schneider)

Beginning early July 4 at 7:30 a.m., members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Mt. Pleasant Police Department participated in the third annual Donnellson Tunnel to Towers Run and Walk. According to the Donnellson Tunnel to Towers organizers, the run “brings the community together to honor first responders, commemorate 9/11, and raise funds for Tunnel to Towers Foundation programs.”

Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee spends time at the Tunnel to Towers 5K in Donnellson on July 4. (Contributed photo)

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation specifically honors the life and death of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller. Siller died on September 11, 2001 after donning his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the Twin Towers.

Money donated to the Foundation goes to a variety of programs for veterans, first responders, and their families. Some of these programs include the Smart Home Program, the Fallen First Responder Home Program, and the Tunnel to Tower 9/11 Institute.

Jared Walker (center), a community service officer with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department, is in the rain during the Tunnel to Tower 5K. (Photo provided)

MPPD and HCSO employees took to the streets despite the rainy morning to honor the memory of fellow first responders and raise funds for programs that support those in need.

Although morning rain caused Mt. Pleasant Fourth of July event organizers to wonder if they could still hold the parade and Meet Your Local Heroes events, they made the decision around noon to hold almost all of the Independence Day events at McMillan Park.

Medforce landed at McMillian Park around 4 p.m. July 4 in Mt. Pleasant. (Photo courtesy of Dave Schneider)

As ominous rain clouds gave way to blue skies and sunshine, Mt. Pleasant’s July 4th celebrations began with a visit from the Medforce helicopter landing at 4 p.m. Many young people and adults enjoyed the opportunity to get a closer look at the helicopter before these first responders had to depart early. A local firefighter assumed they were departing because of a call for service.

Medforce makes a surprise start from McMillian Park. (Photo courtesy of Dave Schneider)

The first responders continued to take center stage as they led the Fourth of July parade, and moments later the lights flashed and they set up shop in the park for a “Meet Your Local Heroes” event.

Henry County Emergency Medical Services made their equipment available for the public to tour during the event. They also set up a chest compression device to help maintain chest compression while emergency personnel care for a patient.

Henry County EMS also took the opportunity to share information about the upcoming special election vote on September 10 to approve the tax levy for HCEMS programming.

Henry County Emergency Medical Services shows off an automated compression device used to maintain compressions during emergencies. (Photo courtesy of Dave Schneider)

According to HCEMS, “A ‘YES’ vote on September 10 means EMS will remain in Henry County, continuing to meet the emergency healthcare needs of residents. If the vote passes, the current $0.27 hospital ambulance fee will disappear. Instead, a new county ambulance fee of $0.75 will be implemented, an increase of $0.48 over the current hospital ambulance fee rate. A ‘NO’ vote on September 10 means the future sustainability of EMS in Henry County is at risk.”

The Mt. Pleasant Fire Department shows off its new ladder truck during the Meet Your Local Heroes Fourth of July event. (Photo courtesy of Dave Schneider)

Mt. Pleasant Fire Department showed off their new ladder truck during Meet Your Local Heroes at McMillan Park. In true patriotic spirit, MPFD hung a large American flag to flutter in the wind against the bright blue sky as they visited with community members.

Additional first responders at the event included members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Pleasant Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol. The organizations offered friendly smiles, pleasant conversation and plenty of stickers throughout the evening.

Henry County Sheriff Rich McNamee was busy July 4, visiting the community during Meet Your Local Heroes in Mt. Pleasant after earlier visits to Donnellson and Wayland. (Photo courtesy of Dave Schneider)

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