Federal grant money has new sirens wailing in Winfield

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The USDA invested over $800,000 in rural community infrastructure across 11 Kansas communities. The city of Winfield was one of the beneficiaries of USDA’s investment, receiving just over $125,000.

They are using the grant money to buy two new ambulances. Of the five vehicles in their fleet, two were no longer serviceable. This money changed that.

There was an electronic wheezing sound coming from the new ambulance when EMS manager Brad Klein shut the back door. When asked to explain, he said that was part of the design. 

“That’s part of the hydraulic, those hydraulic springs, so liquid springs what they call them. So when we open those back doors, that truck senses those back doors are open, and it will lower to a certain height,” said Klein. 

He said the mechanism makes it easier for paramedics to get patients in and out. 

Winfield received its newest ambulance in October. “I want to say that we put it in service the first part of November,” continued Klein.

City Manager Taggart Wall is glad to have the new wheels in Winfield.

“It’s all about improving the patient experience improving our fleet,” said Wall.

Just how old we’re the old ambulances?

“I know they had well over 200,000 when we traded them in. A couple of them were running into bad motors. The runner the motors were getting worn out, and it was harder and harder to find replacement parts to keep them rolling,” added Klein.

These trucks roll for many miles since Windfield EMS serves about 750 square miles or two-thirds of Cowley County. 

“Our call load is as high as it’s ever been,” added Wall. However, that won’t be an issue for the new state-of-the-art trucks.

They have features like a dual tank oxygen system, a tablet that allows paramedics access to real-time data when treating patients, and LED lights that help illuminate the scene.

One other detail that helps this Fire-EMS dual department said Klein, “When we designed these trucks, we left this back compartment to have this space area for us to carry our structure fire gear in because we do respond to both fire and medical calls.”

The second ambulance Winfield ordered is a sprinter-style truck, a first for the city. That vehicle arrives in march. 

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