WFD looking to change how it responds to medical calls

Morgan Downing
KAKE – July 3, 2018

Video

When you call 911 for a medical emergency in Wichita the Wichita firefighters who are also trained EMTs respond, but the city is looking to change that process.

Deputy Chief Stuart Bevis said of the more than 80,000 calls the fire department responds to each year, nearly 18,000 are for minor medical issues.

“That is really driving the workload for our staff, especially in the core of our city pretty high,” Bevis said.

No matter how minor the emergency may be, firefighters are usually the first to respond. Bevis said this process is tying up large firetrucks and the firefighters who could be handling more high risk emergencies.

The fire department is looking for a fix in a new pilot program called the Community Response Team, or CRT.

“The biggest thing is this [pilot program] is a test,” Bevis said.

The department is looking to hire 12 emergency medical technicians. Bevis says they’ll have the same state certified medical training the firefighters have, but CRTs job will be to respond to the minor medical calls in a fuel efficient vehicle, without lights and sirens.

The Wichita firefighters would still respond to high risk medical calls.

“This is not taking away from the abilities of the fire department. It’s actually trying to enhance the ability to utilize our resources,” Bevis said.

But the president of the local fire union said he is concerned patient service will decline and that it isn’t cost effective.

“Where are we going to get the money?” IAFF Local 135 president, Matt Schulte said. “We’re already having these budget issues where we’re taking units off out of service today. So, where’s the money coming from to fund this pilot program?”

Schulte is also concerned patient service will decline.

Bevis said it’ll be funded through the fire departments general fund for now, but he hopes to get other community partners involved.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
KSFFA Facebook

0 Responses to “WFD looking to change how it responds to medical calls”



  1. Leave a Comment

Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.





%d bloggers like this: