Ambulance runs into trouble
A day after recruiting a firefighter to drive ambulance so more medics could focus on a critically ill patient in the back, things didn’t go as well for county ambulance crews.
A 74-year-old woman, gasping and convulsing at a Cottonwood Point campsite at Marion Reservoir, began receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation on dispatchers’ instructions at 5:48 p.m. Friday while awaiting arrival of Marion ambulance.
Medics from Hillsboro ambulance, which had been on standby at a school event in Goessel, also were called along with Marion firefighters, still at their station from a previous call.
After helping with CPR, a medic for Hillsboro ambulance joined Marion ambulance’s crew to care for the woman as they prepared to take her on an emergency basis to Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita.
So that all three could care for the patient in the rear of the ambulance, medics asked Marion firefighters to provide a driver, and Fire Chief Chris Killough volunteered.
He rendezvoused with the ambulance at US-56 and Old Mill Rd. and drove for the rapid trip to Wichita.
Ambulance trips weren’t as rapid or organized just half a day later.
An 81-year-old man complaining of chest pains at 8:28 a.m. Saturday in the 700 block of N. Maple St. in Peabody was supposed to be taken to NMC Health, formerly Newton Medical Center, by Peabody ambulance.
He eventually got there, but not before spending 25 minutes with the ambulance parked near US-50 and Mustang Rd. after it developed mechanical problems.
A shift supervisor, who also had been called, had to summon Hillsboro ambulance to complete the trip. Hillsboro crew members took time to get there because they were just getting back from helping up a person who fell in Durham but did not want to be taken to a hospital.
With both Hillsboro and Peabody ambulances tied up, Marion ambulance then had to respond an hour later when a 98-year-old man fell and injured himself at Bethesda Home, 28 miles from Marion in Goessel.
Goessel first responders were paged but did not answer. The ambulance reached Goessel as quickly as possible, but finding a hospital willing to take the patient proved problematic.
Medics initially wanted to take him to Moundridge Hospital but were diverted first to NMC Health, then to St. Francis, and finally to Wesley Medical Center, Wichita.
In case additional calls came in while most county ambulances were unavailable, a backup ambulance was activated with one medic onboard. It was stationed as a first-response vehicle in Hillsboro.
Eventually, the backup was sent to Peabody to replace Peabody ambulance while it is being repaired.