Kent Frankenfeld, Club President, Nick Toornstra, Brian Dieter, Rotarian Sponsor
Nick Toornstra is the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) supervisor with Mary Greeley’s Mobile Intensive Care Service (MICS). 
When Nick heard about CAHOOTS, he wondered how it could work in Ames. CAHOOTS is a mobile crisis intervention program. It is one of several such community health programs that offer a more specialized way to respond to 911 calls that don’t need an ambulance or police response. 
Inspired, Nick worked with the Ames Police and Iowa State University to establish ARCH (Alternative Response for Community Health). ARCH staff, including paramedics and social workers, are trained in mental health and crisis stabilization. 
Nick worked with the Mary Greeley Foundation and secured grants, including one from the Story County Community Foundation, to fund the purchase of a vehicle designated for ARCH. 
The ARCH team can provide an immediate response to specific 911 calls and help connect individuals with additional resources in the community, thereby avoiding arrests and unnecessary Emergency Room visits. These situations could involve a mental health crisis or homelessness. 
Launched in October 2022, ARCH has already responded to more than 50 calls. In one case, they connected a homeless person with resources that got them into safe and secure housing. 
Thanks to Nick and his partners, Ames has a new community health program that is already providing its benefit to our most vulnerable citizens. 
Nick’s Rotarian sponsor is Brian Dieter.