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Crawford County EMS seek commissioners support for new ambulance - KOAM TV 7

Crawford County EMS seek commissioners support for new ambulances

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Ambulances are meant to help save lives. But what if they can't start?

In Crawford County Kansas, they've been fighting costly repairs to its fleet for months and now, officials have come up with ways to replace what's broken to become more operational.

It's all or nothing for paramedics and EMT's responding to emergencies.

"We staff 3 ambulances a day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, technically out of the 7 in the fleet we only have 4 running at this time." says Crawford County EMS Director, Joey Adams.

Issues like failed engines, break problems and cracks all prompted Adams to seek the commissioners help to figure out a way to get the ambulance service back up and running properly. The fleet is currently operational, but in dire need of repairs.

"We always use a backup at each of the other stations, so if one does fail to start, they can get into a second truck but we don't have that luxury at this time right now. So if we have an issue with one truck going down, then we're going to pull another truck out of its territory to respond to that type of call." Adams says.

At a recent meeting, county commissioners said that safety matters and they would make a line item in the miscellaneous portion of the budget for repairs.

"Do I want to be in debt? Absolutely not. But at the same time you know...we're talking about ambulances. And that's something that's pretty important to us." says Crawford County Commissioner, Tom Moody.

Adams recommended to the commissioners to purchase demo ambulances--which are cheaper, and practically brand new.

"We're putting Band-Aids on Band-Aids. We have seven trucks, and only four are running. We have five football games in this county, and I don't have enough trucks to cover every game," Adams said.

And Moody agrees. "We need them now. And if you order them, it's several months out. And also it saved us roughly 25 thousand dollars per ambulances by getting the demos." Moody says.

When time is of the essence...every second counts.

"We're using Band-Aids to take care of issues. If that's what you want to do, it's fine with me. We're looking at where we need to be four to five years down the road, but I need something now." says Adams. He continued to say "We just don't have trucks. We don't want to be depending on mutual aid from surrounding counties to come in and assist us if it needs to be at that point."

The county has also filed for a state grant to purchase 2 additional ambulances. They hope to learn if they received it sometime next month.

As for the demo ambulances...they are expected to arrive in the next 2 weeks at the main station in Frontenac.

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