"I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine." - Kurt Vonnegut
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Fire Operations - Emergency Medical
The Leawood Fire Department has been responding to emergency medical calls in the City of Leawood since the fire department was organized in 1949. Fire Chief Brook Beatty had the vision and wisdom to know that it made the most practical sense for firefighters to be trained to handle medical emergencies, as well as respond to fires. Today, like most of the fire service across the country, 60-70% of the incidents we respond to every year are emergency medical calls. These calls can range from someone feeling ill or needing assistance after a fall, to a motor vehicle accident with multiple victims. For information about the specific numbers and types of incidents that we respond to each year, click on Annual Data and review the annual Incident Type Reports.
Over the years, many volunteer and paid firefighters in Leawood have been trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), capable of providing Basic Life Support (BLS). When Johnson County Med-Act came into existence in the 1975, Med-Act began to respond along with the Fire Department to the more serious medical emergencies. The paramedics from Med-Act were able to provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) and this tandem response system has been used in Leawood and throughout Johnson County ever since. Today, every Leawood firefighter and officer is required to be certified by the State of Kansas as an Emergency Medical Technician.
Anyone experiencing a medical emergency in Leawood can expect the finest pre-hospital care available anywhere in the country. Using a tiered approach, a Leawood Police officer, trained in first aid and CPR will often arrive first, followed by a crew of trained Emergency Medical Technicians on a fire engine, which are followed by paramedics from Med-Act, who respond in a transporting ambulance. All Fire and EMS agencies in Johnson County operate under same medical direction and protocols, ensuring that pre-hospital patient care will be seamless and efficient.
In the mid 1950s, because it could take 30-45 minutes or longer to get an ambulance in Leawood, the Fire Department purchased a 1956 Ford Panel van and converted it into a rescue unit. This enabled the Fire Department to respond quickly to medical emergencies in the City and transport patients to area hospitals if necessary.
Volunteer firefighters, trained in first aid, began to operate what was known as Leawood Rescue. Over the years, Leawood Rescue was developed into one of the most professional and highly trained units in the area, often being recognized for their outstanding service.
In October 2005, the Leawood Fire Department discontinued it's ambulance transport service but continues to respond to all medical emergencies in the City.
Johnson County Med-Act currently has one (1) ALS ambulance stationed in Leawood at 127th & Mission Road. Other nearby ambulances are stationed at 90th & Roe and 159th & Metcalf.
If you have questions about the Fire Department's response to emergency medical calls,
please don't hesitate to give us a call.