City council gives nod to first responders
Baldwin City moved a step closer to an agreement with Douglas County to provide first responders at Monday’s city council meeting.
The agreement with the county would allow appropriately trained and certified personnel to respond to emergency medical calls in Palmyra Township, either as first response care givers or as support to Emergency Medical Service personnel. Those first responders would most likely be members of the volunteer fire departments in both Baldwin City and Palmyra Township. Two volunteers have already been certified.
The agreement brought initial concerns by some council members, mostly because it was supplying services to the township with city assets. However, those concerns were addressed, especially given that the first responders are members of both fire departments.
“It’s something that we feel we should provide the citizens of Baldwin City and the township,” said Mike Hirschman, one of the two certified first responders at the meeting. “Time matters. As far out as we are, seconds count.”
Council Member Ken Wagner, who had praised the first responders for their service, was one of those initially expressing opposition. The discussion changed his mind.
“If it saves one life, it’s going to be worth it,” said Wagner.
The agreement was approved unanimously, but now must be approved by the county commission.
Under the agreement, the city would provide the volunteers with everything they are already providing. The county would provide medical supplies, training costs, medical oversight, response reimbursement and other items.
The first responders have bags with them that carry the supplies needed first. Another bag containing the next level of supplies, such as a defibrillator, would be in a fire truck.
“The bag I have with me has basically everything I need in the first five minutes,” said Hirschman. “The bag on the truck has the rest.”
The remainder of the council’s business was routine, including raising the rate at which the city sells water to other communities, such as Wellsville and Edgerton, to reflect the increase it received from Lawrence. The council also approved restructuring the cable service agreement to reflect a change in the name.