Toothaches, headaches, foot pain, are these calls for firefighters?

By John Asebes
KSN – July 19, 2018


If there’s a fire you know who you can count on.

The fire department.

Without them fires could turn deadly but according to a Wichita Fire Marshal firefighters are asked to do even more every day.

So what do the do exactly?

“I have been to the fire station and they put out fires,” says Harper Percival.

She and her sister are very young but they get it.

“They take kitties out of trees,” says her sister Hazel.

Actually, that might just be a myth.

“I believe Hazel,” says Harper. “Hazel is right.”

Either way, whether it’s a car accident or a fire, you can count on firefighters from the Wichita Fire Department to show up.

Kamber Berger from Wichita adds, “They make sure people be safe.”

“Somebody is having a day. they are having a bad day where they are asking for assistance.”

But Chief Stuart Bevis says almost a third of their calls are not for real emergencies.

Deputy Fire Chief Stuart Bevis “In our society it seems like when people have an issue they call 911.”

He says the calls go by priority and if EMS or police have no specific reason to believe they are needed then the call falls on the fire department. Some of them are out pretty out there.

Toothaches, headaches, and hurt toes.

Do these sound like calls a firefighter should be responding to?

Wichitan Serene Sims says, “That is just unbelievable.”

“Our numbers with these types of calls keep creeping up and creeping up. In some instances they are not creeping they are shooting,” says Bevis.

Bevis says 15,000 times a year firefighters are responding to calls just like these. Thats why they are trying to create some CRT’s, Community Response Teams to mitigate the right resources and make sure the right people are handling these calls.

Bevis says the fire department is trying to kick off these new CRT’s by the time the next budget cycle comes around. He says it is not only to make sure people get help but also to make sure they are where they need to be at all times.

“When they are there dealing with that situation or that person they are not available to go to a building fire,” says Bevis.

Bevis says what the department is proposing in the 2019 budget is two vehicles with two certified EMT’s that can immediately respond and see what resources are needed.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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