Kan. firefighters loan ambulance to EMS company following collision

The 13-year-old vehicle was retired from service, but was kept in good condition

By Tim Horan
The Salina Journal

SALINE COUNTY, Kan. — When a Lindsborg ambulance and a red sports car collided at the intersection of Crawford Street and Broadway Boulevard on Aug. 21, it left Lindsborg EMS with just one ambulance.

That changed Tuesday when the Saline County Commission agreed, on a 4-0 vote, to allow a semiretired ambulance at Saline County Rural Fire District No. 2 to go back into full service in Lindsborg. Commissioner Dave Smith was absent from the meeting.

Shane Pearson, EMS division chief for the Salina Fire Department, said the 13-year-old vehicle was retired from the Salina Fire Department 18 months ago. It was given to the rural fire district and housed in Mentor, where it was used in case of an emergency.

“We could have sold it, but we felt it was still in good enough condition to keep in the county as an additional resource,” Pearson said of the 2003 model vehicle. “If a natural disaster hits the county, it’s one additional ambulance we can staff.”

Pearson said that several full-time Salina firefighters are also volunteer firefighters in the southern part of the county.

“With something (a disaster) with 20 or 30 patients, we have the people to handle it, but the city of Salina wouldn’t have enough ambulances. We could pull that one back into Salina if we have to,” he said.

He said that when Lindsborg purchases a second ambulance, the loaner will come back to Saline County.

“It’s the neighborly thing to do. It’s good that we can help them out,” Pearson said. “County fires and county calls we work closely with the Lindsborg Fire Department and Lindsborg EMS. It’s fairly frequent that we are on the same call together in that area.”

Lindsborg City Administrator Greg DuMars said that having only one ambulance restricted the EMS’s ability to do non-emergency patient transfers.

“With only one ambulance, we will have another EMS service dispatched to provide the nonemergent transfer,” he said. “This is so the EMS service can handle the emergent calls that may come during a nonemergent patient transfer. The Lindsborg EMS will still continue to handle all emergent-patient transfers.”

DuMars said the city has budgeted to purchase an ambulance in 2019.

“The actual replacement timeframe will be dependent on the adjuster’s appraisal and whether, in the adjuster’s opinion, the ambulance can be repaired or whether it is a total loss,” he said.

Oil rights up for bid

In other business, the county is accepting bids until 4 p.m. today on oil rights on the Oliver Haag property, which is owned by the county. Proceeds fund scholarships.

The commission had been approached by Brandon Rudkin, representative of J. Fred Hambright, to pay oil rights of $10 an acre for the 480 acres Haag donated to the county. The lease would be for three years.

The commission published a legal notice accepting bids on the property.

Also, the commission discussed but took no action on the conceal carry issue at the City-County Building.

The city of Salina was surveying its employees on their opinions about securing the building.

Under a new Kansas law, the City-County Building Authority’s exemption allowing it to ban the conceal carry of handguns ends July 1, and unless the entire building is secured, similar to security in place on the third floor, conceal carry would have to be allowed.

“We’re all pretty set on the direction we are going,” said Chairman Monte Shadwick referring to the county’s desire to simply take the “no guns” signs down and allow conceal carry.

He said that if county employees want to offer opinions, they can contact one of the three commissioners on the building authority: Shadwick, Luci Larson or Dave Smith.

Copyright 2016 The Salina Journal

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