KEMSA Chronicle - Service chronicles

The service chronicles listed below were published in the Winter 2021 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.

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Junction City Fire Department

A change in command recently took place as Chief Terry Johnson accepted a position with a different department as fire chief. Chief Johnson was instrumental in having the department be able to join the State Task Force for Search and Rescue, as well as many other projects. Jason Lankas was selected as the interim fire chief.

The City of Junction City recently painted a center line down the middle of Washington Street in Junction City to support first responders. For two blocks the center line is Blue for all the law enforcement agencies and for two blocks the center line is red for fire and EMS. On Oct. 24, the community was able to show their support of the emergency service agencies in the county.

JCFD has working with its partners at Children’s Mercy ENT Clinic on Tracheostomy care and home ventilator training. A member of the community was released home being technology dependent. All three shifts were able to attend a lecture with in-depth hands-on skills using simulation manikins. The class provided not only the common problems to expect, but showed the exact equipment the families would have on hand to work the problem.

The Junction City Fire Department has members that are part of Task Force 2 and Kansas-1 through the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Recently medical team members from around the state converged on Crisis City in Salina where they were able to attend classrooms sessions, small group labs, and scenarios. The one-day class was able to expose them to Butterfly ultrasound, chest tubes, needle decompression, cricothyroidotomy, crush injury, as well as wound care, and patient packaging. The afternoon sessions were spent performing scenarios on the “pile” using many of the tools they had practiced with earlier that morning.


Kingman EMS

Exciting things are happening with Kingman EMS! Ten years ago, Kingman EMS ran approximately 550 calls per year, employed one full-time paramedic and several part-time providers, and was managed by a part-time EMS director. Fast forward to 2021 and the department is on trend to run 1,000 calls, has three full-time paramedics, one full-time EMT, a full-time EMS director/paramedic, and is supported by several part-time providers.

Kingman is not done growing! In 2019, the City of Kingman purchased a large building and converted it into a new EMS station, which would support the hiring of providers outside of the city limits by providing fully furnished living quarters - a first for Kingman EMS! This year, the Kingman City Commission approved the transition to a full-time 24-hour staffing model, which will be effective January 1, 2022. The department is currently working on this transition, which will include three full-time paramedics and three full-time EMTs making three paramedic/EMT teams to rotate 24-hour shifts. The City of Kingman will be working on filling the two new EMT positions starting November 2021 and hopefully starting those people through orientation in December 2021. 

Sedgwick County EMS

On November 3, in a 5 to 0 vote, the Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) approved the final legal documents needed for Sedgwick County EMS (SCEMS) to initiate its “E2P” (EMT to Paramedic) program, that will allow the agency to support currently employed EMTs through completion of paramedic certification.

In August 2021, the BoCC approved EMS’ request to add new, annual funding of $186,000* for two proposed programs: 1) sponsorship of six non‐certified individuals/laypersons through EMT‐B certification as full‐time employees, and 2) scholarships for six currently employed EMTs through paramedic programs.

The intent of these programs is four‐fold:

  • Eliminate the barriers to entry into the field of EMS.
  • Facilitate the recruitment of individuals who are members of under‐represented demographics.
  • Eliminate the hurdles of time commitment and foregone income of those EMTs who wish to become paramedics.
  • Improve the reliability of the supply of paramedics committed to SCEMS.

Because the local paramedic programs begin new classes as soon as January 2022, SCEMS is delaying the implementation of the first program (non‐certified to EMT) and reallocating those funds to support one additional EMT in the E2P program, for a total of seven. Eligible EMTs must be in good standing with SCEMS and have been accepted into a local paramedic program of their choosing, then apply to SCEMS for participation in the E2P program. Sedgwick County EMS will pay the tuition and fees of the program for those selected, and the employee will be paid as a full‐time EMT‐B with benefits in a “Recruit Paramedic” position while they attend classes, labs, clinicals, and internship. After successful certification, they will automatically transition to a full‐time paramedic position and pay for a commitment of three years.

After the first of the year, SCEMS will work to refine the process for implementing the non‐certified‐to‐EMT program. The E2P program represents the first time since paramedic classes were held internally in the 1970s and 80s that SCEMS has been able to train paramedics as full‐time employees. SCEMS is optimistic that this program, along with pay‐structure improvements at the county, will help to remedy the staffing shortage and actively recruit minority‐groups into EMS.

*Amount represents the direct and indirect costs of the program, i.e., cost to backfill positions during education time.

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