BOB CAMPBELL - 33 years of service


BOB CAMPBELL - 33 years of service charter member Hawkeye First Responders 1981

By Rich Holm
Union News Writer


In 1981 one of Iowa’s initial First Responders groups was formed in Hawkeye. Twenty-one volunteers took a 40-hour training course for the betterment of their community.

One of the initial volunteers was a Hawkeye farmer named Bob Campbell. The men and women on that dedicated team would become known as the Hawkeye First Response Team.

Campbell is retiring after 33 years of being on call 24-7. The community will honor Bob on Sunday, April 7, with an open house at the Hawkeye Fire and EMS station from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Close friend and team member Al Schlatter said, “It will be a great time for the area to show their appreciation for the volunteer work Bob has done. Refreshments will be served, and I’m sure many more stories will be told.”

At the last regular First Responders meeting it was Campbell who showed his appreciation by purchasing pizza for the group. It was his last official act, as many hugs were given and a few tears were shed thinking about good times.

Bob drew a big laugh when he told the team, “It’s time for me to step aside and let somebody else drive the ambulance. I’m getting to the age where I’m going to need it.”

It seemed like every Hawkeye First Responder had a funny story like the one, “We were listening on the radio when Bob was on a call, and when he reached the scene, he said, ‘We have a female woman and her vitals are…’”

Bob was on another call, and that time he wished the radio had been turned off because he ran into a door and almost broke his nose, mumbling a few expletives that he thought nobody would hear.

And there have been many lighthearted moments in Bob’s service, such as the time when a 911 call came in and Campbell learned he was going to a home where a woman had requested help to get bats out of her house.

Hawkeye is comforted knowing it has such a large group of dedicated citizens.

who volunteer their time to serve the community  They accept the challenge of being the first on the scene to stabilize a patient until an ambulance arrives.

The Hawkeye First Responders are part of a bigger team called the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) of Iowa. 

Quick response can save a life, and early access is the number-one priority when a call comes in. First Responders are trained to apply defibrillation if needed and can perform early life support procedures.

By placing a defibrillator in Hawkeye, the improved prehospital survival rate can be as high as 30 percent.

Hawkeye was the second group in Iowa to form, but the first team to purchase an automatic defibrillator.

“We were quite proud of that, and so was the community that donated the money to purchase it,” said charter member Al Schlatter. “Since then, we have purchased three more, keeping up with technology. The people of Hawkeye support our group real well.”

There is evidence to suggest that in a case of cardiac arrest, for every minute that goes by without defibrillation, a patient’s chances of survival decrease by 10 percent.

Most important is the presence of a group of First Responders in a community such as Hawkeye. The volunteers offer support and reassurance to patients and their families during a critical medical emergency.

Bob Campbell is a member of the Masonic Lodge and Hawkeye Legion. In the past he was a Boy Scout leader, a member of the Lions Club, and a Fayette County Pork Producer.

His 45-year love affair with farming that began in 1968 is matched by the love for his wife, Trudy (Ford), their three kids and five grandchildren.

Bob and classmate Don Parker are a trivia answer for the question “Who were the last two students at North High to earn four letters in 1962 in football, basketball/wrestling, track and baseball?”

Bob remembers the last Hawkeye senior class in 1957 and recalled the merger with West Union in 1958. Campbell was the first student body president at Area I (now NICC). After graduation he joined his dad in farming. 

Bob and Trudy would marry on July 12, 1969. They honeymooned in Canada, and together they also fell in love with fishing and the great outdoors.

Campbell had a love to give back to his community and did so in many ways. It was only appropriate that he would be given the distinction of having First Responder certificate number 1 when they were handed out alphabetically.

On Sunday he will be number 1 again with an open house in his honor. You are invited to join the community to recognize Bob for his many years of service and dedication to the Hawkeye area. 





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