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Kan. county EMS highlights community paramedicine team during increase in calls

Riley County EMS handles a spike in calls for service thanks to community care team


Riley County EMS vehicles.

Riley County EMS/Facebook

By AJ Dome
The Manhattan Mercury

RILEY COUNTY, Kan. — In what the Riley County EMS director called a rare shift, the county’s downtown EMS station recorded more emergency calls last month than the county’s main station at 2011 Claflin Road.

EMS director David Adams told Riley County commissioners Monday that the month of April “kept us hopping” with 479 total ambulance calls, most of which were for people feeling sick or people who had fallen.

He said Station 2, at 11th and Poyntz, reported 154 calls, outpacing the 131 calls into Station 1 on Claflin Road — something that “never happens,” Adams said.

“That’s only the first or second time I’ve ever seen that,” Adams said.

Adams linked the increase in service calls to Station 2 to a few patients who “rely on us to kind of help them with their daily activities.” He told commissioners that the county’s community care team is assisting those patients with most of their day-to-day needs.

The community care team, overseen by the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition, comprises first responders and social service workers from Riley and surrounding counties. The team assists patients in the area with things that are not emergencies but are still important to their health, such as checking diabetic patients’ blood glucose levels and rearranging furniture in an elderly person’s home to mitigate the risk of falls.

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Adams, who also serves as president of the Kansas EMS Association, told commissioners that the community care team serves people who are more susceptible to slipping through gaps in the healthcare system because they don’t always need emergency care.

“The community care team is working hard to help them,” Adams said. “Our staff does a phenomenal job.”

Additionally, EMS Station 3 in the Riley County Public Works building recorded 90 calls for service while Station 4 at Manhattan Regional Airport reported 69 calls.

The newest EMS outpost in Leonardville noted 28 calls for April. Adams said the generator at Leonardville is operational and drywall work on the building continues.

At the May 9 county commission meeting, Adams presented his 2025 budget request of $6.28 million, which was $32,500 more than what was allocated for the 2024 budget. County officials said that $32,500 does not include personnel costs. The most notable cost increases were inpatient billing, with a boost of about $22,000.

Adams said in a memo that the projected cost was based on increased call volume, operation of the new station in Leonardville and the headquarters station under construction. This budget also includes the purchase, repair and replacement of existing and new equipment.

The next Riley County Commission meeting is Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the Riley County Courthouse.

This article has been corrected from its previous version. David Adams is the president of the Kansas EMS Association, not vice president as previously reported. Adams also does not oversee the community care team; the Flint Hills Wellness Coalition leads that group.

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