Jun 14, 2024

Great Bend Fire & EMS working to lower call load

Posted Jun 14, 2024 11:35 AM

Great Bend Post

Since the beginning of the year, the Great Bend Fire Department has been monitoring their increased call volume. As of early May, the department had seen a 22% increase in incident calls.

With the majority of the calls related to medical or EMS incidents, Fire Chief Brent Smith said staff does work with citizens to better help themselves going forward.

"We have a semi-paramedicine program working with Clara Barton Hospital," said Smith. "Clara Barton has nurses and social workers. We gather information when we go to calls if it's a repeat. Sometimes it might be somebody that just needs help, not necessarily our help, but just help. We gather that information then Clara Barton will go out and do a site visit."

The medical staff at Clara Barton Hospital can then assess if the resident needs grab-handles around the house or other safety precautions.

Smith said city staff has assisted one citizen that used to call first responders 10 times a week. Since introducing the citizen to church groups and Medicare/Medicaid, Smith and his staff have not received a call from the individual.

"We have a meeting with Clara Barton about once a month," said Smith. "They will generally give some follow-up. We generally take it as good news when we don't go there as much. Once we turn it over to them, if we don't go near as often, then we assume it's a win for the citizen and us."

In May, Smith noted many calls include elderly people falling and needing help getting back to their feet.