City of Wichita challenges county EMS non-emergency response times

Sedgwick County EMS (KSN Photo)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Concerns over ambulance response times could lead to changes in an agreement between the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County.

Some people in Wichita are waiting too long for non-emergency ambulances, according to City of Wichita officials.

Under the current agreement between the city and the county, Sedgwick County EMS serves as the exclusive ambulance provider for both emergency and non-emergency calls within Wichita, with a few exceptions.

A recent review found that Sedgwick County EMS is providing, “high quality care.”

The Sedgwick County EMS goal for non-emergency calls is a 60 minute response time. In 2014 and 2015, that goal was achieved 83 percent of the time, according to a study on response times. This year, thanks to added resources, the county is in compliance with the goal 96 percent of the time.

But that’s not enough, according to some Wichita officials.

A new proposed agreement would keep Sedgwick County EMS as the exclusive provider for both emergency and non-emergency ambulance services within Wichita, but it would also create room for a third party, private ambulance provider to keep response times up.

If changes aren’t reached by July 1, the current agreement would automatically renew for another five years under the same terms.

Both city and county officials will meet Wednesday to talk about the agreements with a recommendation to approve an agreement and get a signature from the mayor.

That meeting is at 1 p.m. in the first floor board room of the Wichita City Hall, 455 N. Main St. Wichita.

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