County accepts Community EMS deal
At noon July 22, the Eudora Emergency Medical Service will be a thing of the past.
At that time, the Eudora Community EMS will begin operation.
"The only thing that's really going to happen is that we'll be switching dispatching over," Eudora City Fire Chief Randy Ates said.
The Douglas County Commission unanimously agreed Monday to enter into an agreement with the city of Eudora that places general supervision of the first-responding unit under Ates. Although Eudora Township Board of Trustees took part in earlier discussions, its members decided not to be part to the new arrangement.
Eudora Community EMS is still under the umbrella of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Director Scott Robinson will still draft protocols and oversee the medical operation of the service.
Ates will be in charge of personnel issues and will maintain a home base for the service at the Eudora City Fire Station.
"I'm hoping having a home base to practice out of -- a fire station as a base -- would give them more stability," Ates said.
With the county signing on, Ates is now focusing on the transition from Eudora EMS to Eudora Community EMS.
"One of the changes people will be seeing, we'll probably have more personnel showing on EMS calls, in particular on the 'bad calls," Ates said.
Bad calls refer to those with serious injuries or illnesses, Ates said.
"On those really bad calls, people in city limits will also see a fire engine arrive, so we'll have extra crews and extra equipment and more manpower since quite a few of the city firefighters are EMS certified as well," Ates said.
The new system could mean more manpower responding to all serious calls, Ates said. If so, it would work by virtue of more people signing up to be a part of the EMS service, Ates said.
Outside of city limits, it would be up to the Eudora Township Fire Department to decide if they will add engine support or extra hands on serious calls, he said.
Ates also is working on recruiting.
"We hope to start building up the membership," he said. "Of the original group, right now it looks like we have a quite a few that want to join."
Ates has assistance in moving the EMS duties over.
"We put together a transition team, to help move Eudora EMS to its new home and new setting," Ates said.
The transition team includes both EMS newcomers and veterans, Ates said.
So far, the most challenging aspect of the transition has been deciphering the human resource aspects of the switch, Ates said. For instance, he has to figure out if the EMS members need to take new physicals to apply for the new organization.
"It's those little questions that pop up," Ates said.
In addition to recruiting and answering personnel questions, the new EMS service will need to have adjustments made to radios and equipment. The adjustments will be finished by July 22, Ates said.
"Right now we are asking that anyone that is interested in joining Eudora Community EMS to fill out an application for us to go in a file," Ates said.
For more information on Eudora Community EMS, call Ates at 542-3653.