KEMSA Chronicle - Service chronicles

The service chronicles listed below were published in the Fall 2017 issue of the KEMSA Chronicle magazine. If you would like to submit news from your service for publication in the magazine and on this website, view information about submitting your news here.

Arkansas City Fire/EMS

The Arkansas City Fire/EMS department suffered defeat again in August when they competed in the annual Battle of the Badges competition. This year, the battle was one basketball game with the Arkansas City Recreation Center’s community team versus area firefighters and law enforcement members. The second basketball game was Ark City Fire/EMS and Winfield Fire/EMS versus Ark City Police, Winfield Police, and the Cowley County Sheriff’s Office. Proceeds went to the family of a local high school and community basketball coach, Anthony Brantley, to help with medical expenses, and Winfield High School Coach Shaw to assist with expenses incurred while battling cancer. The law enforcement team took home the trophy, but there is always next year!

Ark City Fire/EMS would like to thank Region III for awarding one of their paramedics, Cameron Vickrey, a scholarship to attend the KEMSA Conference this year. Also, the service has hired two new personnel: Nicholas Snavely, a firefighter/EMT from Arkansas City and Bailey Joonas, a firefighter/EMT from Linn.


Trauma professionals, physicians, critical care nurses, and others involved with patient care visited the EagleMed base in Wichita July 25 for a collaborative exercise in air medical emergency transport. Gary Poindexter, EMS coordinator for Wesley Healthcare and Craig Isom, program director for EagleMed worked together to come up with the training event. The goal of the training exercise was to improve patient care and help build a stronger working relationship between the two teams.

Using a trailer specially designed by the EagleMed education team, they are able to recreate the environments inside the fixed wing and rotor wing aircraft. More than a dozen trauma and critical care team members from Wesley participated in medical scenarios in the trailer using simulation manikins. Participants then suited up in flights suites and helmets and took actual flights to Wesley’s rooftop helipad to gain the real-life experience on the aircraft.

These opportunities give the Wesley trauma team a better perspective on the constraints and challenges in the pre-hospital setting. The day’s training agenda included a safety briefing about flight protocol regarding safety and maintenance to help with the team’s understanding of why the helicopter is not always an option for their patient’s transfer to Wesley.

Interagency teamwork is proven to increase the effectiveness of trauma care for critically injured patients. Therefore, Wesley and EagleMed plan to make this an annual event.

Johnson County MED-ACT

Johnson County MED-ACT would like to congratulate Captain Gregg Bollella on his advancement to Battalion Chief effective Sept. 11. Gregg has been an asset to operations for over 18 years, and they look forward to his continued service in his new position.

MED-ACT would like to announce the retirement of Battalion Chief Michael Woolery. Mike started at MED-ACT in 1976, and is currently one of two of the longest serving members at MED-ACT; putting in over 41 years of dedication to operations. MED-ACT also said farewell to Battalion Chief David Taylor earlier in the year, after 32 years of service. They will both be sorely missed.

Joining MED-ACT in July were two new paramedics Jared Cavin and Kirsten Moore. Jared graduated from the Barton County Community College Paramedic Program and previously worked for AMR out of Topeka. Kirsten graduated from the Johnson County Community College Paramedic Program and previously worked for AMR out of Independence, MO.

MED-ACT is also excited to announce the new addition to their administrative staff in the form of Finance and Administrative Services Manager Debbie Attig. She comes to MED-ACT from Olathe Medical Center with over 20 years of experience in accounting and financial operations.

Kiowa County EMS

In an attempt to impact cardiac arrest survivability, Kiowa County EMS wanted to make sure that each deputy had an AED in their patrol car after having to run one of their own. Seventy-three-year-old Deputy Bill Renfrow went into cardiac arrest July 9. Deputy Tyler Finch was on scene within four minutes of the call being dispatched and began administering chest compressions until KCEMS arrived to deliver a lifesaving defibrillation shock within 10 minutes of the event occurring. Bill was released from Wesley Medical Center on July 19 and returned back to work at the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office July 26.  Afterward, KCEMS requested and was awarded $3,000 from the TransCanada Community Investment Grant to help purchase two AEDs for the Kiowa County Sheriff’s Office.  This funding helps ensure that five patrol cars will have an AED for each officer.

KCEMS would also like to welcome three new members to its part-time staff: EMT Megan Gwin, EMT Alexandra (Zeenie) Dirks, and EMT Tina Fulton.  

Reno County EMS

Reno County has been busy these past few months. They were fortunate to be able to send several service members to the KEMSA Conference where they learned lots and brought back some great ideas. In addition, they were honored to have the opportunity to be part of the KEMSA Awards Banquet where they were presented with the Career Service of the Year Award.

Reno County EMS has also been continuing their joint training with their local fire department. Field Training officers held 4-lead and 12-lead classes with the Hutchinson Fire Department and ensured that all members received the training. This will help improve patient contact to 12-lead times by having more personnel trained in proper placement. Also, congratulations to Steve French, paramedic, who is the newest Field Training Officer for RCEMS.

Reno County EMS participated in the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center sponsored night at the Monarch’s baseball game in Carey Park and are looking forward to walking in the annual HeartWalk in late September. Reno County EMS along with Hutchinson Fire Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol coodinated plans for the Kansas State Fair, where they not only had a two-person roving crew, but also had personnel at the First Aid station.

Wesley Medical Center

Babies born prematurely or critically ill after birth often need specialized care from a high-level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). That’s why Wesley’s NICU staff and its LifeWatch neonatal transport team were excited to receive a brand new $540,000 ambulance in August – the first in nearly a decade – adding a boost to its ground fleet of three ambulances.

The ambulance features state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment, including a power lift that bears the weight of an isolette and attached equipment, which can weigh as much as 450 pounds. Traditionally, the transportation team was tasked with hefting the cot into the ambulance and securing it.

Wesley Medical Center, which maintains a Level III NICU with specialty care nurseries and advanced newborn care, serves as a regional referral center for central, southeast and western Kansas. The transport team for each patient includes a neonatal nurse practitioner or physician assistant, respiratory therapist, and a security officer who drives.

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