Bourbon County Commission Looks for New Ambulance Service

By Zachary Dodge
October 19, 2018



Officials in Bourbon County, Kansas are searching for a replacement to their current ambulance service.

Mercy hospital in Fort Scott is set to close by the end of the year, and with it the emergency room and ambulance service for the county.

On March 30th of next year, Mercy’s contract with the county for ambulance services will expire.

Jeffrey Fischer, Bourbon County Commissioner:”To say that we know how we’re gonna go through this at this point in time is probably a stretch, but we’re gathering information and looking at where the pieces are gonna fall and how to pick them up and move them forward.”

Now, county officials are working with the city of Fort Scott, as well as other towns in the county, to find a solution..

Lynn Oharah, Bourbon County Commissioner:”We are on a fact finding tour. We’re looking at all the information that we can get.”

Part of that is finding who would run an emergency room, and what would happen if opening a new ER in the county isn’t possible.

Oharah:”Plan B is going to be more or less, how do we transport, versus how do we go to an in county facility to handle some of the issues.”

Christi Keating, Chief Nursing Officer at Mercy Fort Scott, met with county officials to discuss how Mercy can help fill the void.

Christi Keating, :”Evaluating the number of transports and runs that are performed in Bourbon County, where those calls are located, what their make ups are, and then operationally answer any questions they have about costs to help the county make a great decision as they transition the care to a new company.”

Keating is also talking in support of the Fort Scott Fire Department taking over those ambulance services, because of their past partnership. The fire department has provided a crew for one of Mercy’s ambulances since 2009.

Keating:”Those dollars from our county, why would we not look to try to keep those dollars local, and partner with the city of Fort Scott Fire Department?”

County officials say they want to keep the fire department in the loop, and that they are an option, but they are still looking at what would work the best for the county as a whole.

Oharah:”This is not just a city county issue, this is every community organization, every town, every municipality, should have a say in this process.”

County Commissioners were not able to provide a timeline on when they might make a decision on a new hospital, ER, or ambulance service.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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