The closing of Clearwater EMS impacts residents south of county line
By Sam Jack
The city of Clearwater’s June 25 decision to discontinue its local ambulance service leaves a 45-square-mile hole in Sumner County’s EMS coverage map.
To fill the gap, Conway Springs EMS and Mulvane EMS are splitting Clearwater’s former territory, for now on an informal basis.
The two services had already been covering for Clearwater for several months, as Clearwater struggled with volunteer availability and tried to keep its service going by hiring some full-time employees.
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“We have currently been splitting the area, basically, at Clearwater Road,” said Gordon Fell, Mulvane’s director of public safety. “We’re not going to leave anybody uncovered, obviously. Outside of traffic, that’s a very rural and isolated area. I think they average only about one or two calls a month in that area.”
The area is bounded by Chicaskia Road to the west, Ridge Road to the east, 119th Street to the north and 90th Avenue to the south.
Clearwater city administrator Ron Marsh noted that the end of Clearwater EMS has no effect on fire protection. Clearwater’s volunteer fire department still covers part of northern Sumner County.
“We’ll still respond, with a medical first response if it’s available,” Marsh said. “If the volunteers are available to take the call, then they’ll respond.”
The bulk of Clearwater EMS’s former territory, in Sedgwick County, is being taken over by the countywide EMS service. Clearwater was the last volunteer EMS service left standing in the county.
In years past, Sumner County has provided Clearwater EMS with an $8,000 subsidy. Fell anticipates that that money will be split between Conway Springs and Mulvane once the new EMS map and service agreements are formalized.