Rural Emergency Help

1 decade 1 year 3 months ago Monday, June 11 2007 Jun 11, 2007 Monday, June 11, 2007 5:52:12 PM CDT June 11, 2007 in News

Right now there are three EMS dispatchers working at three different locations in Saline County. The new plan would integrate all dispatchers and help locate those in need of emergency services. This is good news for rural residents.

In March, an explosion in Sweet Springs injured Opal Harrison while she burned her trash.

"I got four broken ribs, a blood clot in my lung, and a collapsed lung," Harrison said.

So Harrison did what any one else would do.

"I told him call 911," Harrison said.

Neighbors say emergency services took over an hour to get to the location, through 12 miles of rural roads. Officials say the average rural call is about 30 minutes. Many rural roads in Saline County don't have street signs, and houses don't have numbered addresses. Officials say improvements to the current system will help with delays.

"We will know when we are close because we will follow it on a map, the dispatchers will be able to follow the units as they go through the county, and so even if it was thirty minutes it should be cut in half," said Joe Blodgett, with Saline County EMT.

The new system will allow EMS to pinpoint the location of the emergency, so rural residents like Harrison won't have to wait. Saline County officials say they hope the new system will be in place in the next 18-24 months.

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