County public health officials talk mobile emergency response equipment

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO – Marshall County Public Health has this large tent in storage for use in an emergency situation, such as treating patients of an outbreak. County officials are now looking for a trailer to transport the tent, which is heavy and large. Folded up, the tent is about 4 feet wide.

While local and national health and medical experts work to maintain public health, outbreaks and other emergencies happen, and such a situation might demand mobile health services.

Marshall County Public Health Director Pat Thompson and Marshall County Emergency Management Director Kim Elder said they are looking to purchase a trailer to carry a large tent which could serve medical patients in an emergency.

“It’s been stored at the hospital … because I’m no longer at the hospital, it came to the county and is being stored by Lucas (Baedke) and Kim out at the jail,” Thompson said. “It needs to be in a better place and a place where it can be more mobile, and so I would like to purchase, using my equipment line item, a trailer that’s enclosed to store this in. It’ll be ready to go anyplace it needs to go.”

The county officials said the tent is very large, able to fit multiple patients. But it is also heavy and would require a trailer to move via vehicle, as well as a cart to load it onto the trailer.

“That’s what this basically is, is a point of distribution mobile unit, which will be great as far as I’m concerned,” Elder said of the tent. “You never know where you’re going to have those (emergencies). It’s like with the H1N1 (virus), and I know the H3N2 is pretty rampant down in Australia right now.”

She said the smallest trailer to get the job done is being looked at for purchase at an estimated price of $3,700.

Marshall County supervisors Bill Patten, Dave Thompson and Steve Salasek made no formal motion on the purchase at Tuesday’s meeting because the money to be used has already been budgeted to public health. However, they did recommend Elder and Pat Thompson look for a local seller offering such a trailer at a comparable price.


Contact Adam Sodders at

641-753-6611 or



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