The Madison County Commission held an open house April 25 at the County Administration Building in Rexburg to showcase departments and resources. The open house celebrated National County Month, which takes place during the month of April.
Many county departments were present with vehicles, special equipment and officials to answer questions and explain their purpose in the county.
Sheriff Roy Klingler, of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, said that the county commissioners, elected officials and other department heads decided to host the open house so the public could learn more about the county’s assets.
“Today, the public can come out, have a look at some of the equipment, talk to people here and find out what we do,” Klingler said.
The sheriff’s office brought out equipment to show some of its resources.
There were several police vehicles, including a prison transport vehicle and a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) truck, in addition to MCSO (Mobile County Sheriff’s Office) all-terrain vehicles and a boat for waterway patrol.
The sheriff also described the Madison County Work Detail, in which inmates can serve their time by working on labor details for public projects.
These projects have included trimming bushes, repairing broken public facilities, cleaning trash and setting for county events.
The Madison Fire Department displayed one of their fire trucks, a hook and ladder with its boom fully extended.
Brandon Pope, a firefighter-paramedic and 2007 BYU-Idaho alumnus, educated the public about the advanced medical training that Madison paramedics receive.
The department recently acquired the critical care credential, the highest certification available.
“We have one of the highest levels of care of any paramedic program in the state of Idaho,” Pope said.
Paramedics in Madison County carry between 20 and 30 medications, while most medics only carry about 12.
Eric Van Genderen, another firefighter-paramedic and 2011 BYU-I Alumnus, said that this increased versatility helps them provide better care.
He said, “We’re expected to act as clinicians, not as basic paramedics. Most of what can be done in an intensive care unit, we can do from the back of an ambulance.”
The department, which covers the land area between Rexburg and West Yellowstone, is also able to do electrocardiography and sedation from the field, which enables the hospital to prepare better for emergent patients.
Among the other offices in attendance was the County Road Department, who brought out a large grader, which was available for children to climb in and have their picture taken. The road department also posted placards that encouraged county residents to watch for vandalism of county property. According to one of the signs, $2430.50 of taxpayer money has been spent so far this year on replacing vandalized road signs and posts.
Sheriff Klingler said that he hoped the event would help county residents and visitors understand and appreciate the resources that Madison County has to offer the people who live here.
“We really try to be public-oriented and open with the residents of the county,” Sheriff Klingler said.