County’s ambulance response area grows



May 12, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Allen County commissioners signed a mutual aid agreement Tuesday that will permit the ambulance stationed in Moran to respond to calls in the Bronson area, in Bourbon County.
Christi Keating, Bourbon County Emergency Medical Services director, said that would result in patients in the western part of her county having an ambulance reach them much quicker. Bourbon ambulances are all in Fort Scott, which is about 25 minutes away. The Moran ambulance can be in Bronson in eight minutes or less, she said.
About 45 calls come from that area in a year’s time, or 3 percent of the 1,500 answered annually by Bourbon County responders.
Commissioner Dick Works initially was reluctant to sign onto the agreement, for fear that it might jeopardize care for Allen Countians.
Keating said she wouldn’t expect the Allen County crew to respond without sufficient backup. Allen County EMS Director Jason Nelson said whenever the Moran ambulance was out of pocket, usually to carry a patient to a metropolitan hospital, a protocol existed to move an ambulance stationed in Iola nearer to the eastern tier of the county.
“We’re not going to put Allen County citizens at risk,” Nelson said.
As a part of the agreement, patients transported by Allen County will be taken to either Allen County Hospital in Iola or Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott, whichever they prefer.

NELSON said the new ambulance station in Iola, in the old Heartland Rural Electric building at 410 N. State St., likely would be ready for occupancy in late July or early August.
Heartland moved the last of its equipment from the building last week. Remodeling of the structure by Superior Builders of Iola is expected to start in the next few days.
Commissioners approved purchase of software costing $400 for a mobile computerized mapping device, which will be used to enhance maps used by emergency responders, including ambulance crews.
Terry Call, EMS administrative assistant, said the global information system had eclectic features, such as being able to map fire hydrants throughout the county so that responders would know the water pressure and volume available from each.

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