Miami County EMS


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Miami County Emergency Medical Services was founded in 1989 as a result of the consolidation of the Paola/Louisburg Ambulance, a private ambulance service that was operated by Don Stearns, and the Osawatomie Ambulance that was operated by the city of Osawatomie and the Chief of Police, Johnny Craig. The County took over both services and Miami County EMS began operations on June 1, 1989. Mike Welter was the first Service Director and the only paramedic on the department. In addition to Mike, the department started with six EMT’s and a billing clerk. The department utilized part-time paramedics for the first two years, until they were able to send people to classes to increase the number of staff and their level of certification. In the first year of operations, the department ran 781 calls.

In 1998, the Baehr Foundation provided funding to start an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program for the county. AED’s were placed in the Paola, Osawatomie, and Louisburg Police Departments, the Miami County Sheriff’s Department, Louisburg Fire Department, and Kansas Wildlife and Parks at Hillsdale Lake. Since placing the AED’s in the first responder units, there have been several documented saves where a patient was successfully defibrillated and ultimately survived the cardiac arrest. One such save was televised on WDAF-TV 4 by Linda Waggert with the Osawatomie Police Department. OPD officer (Donnie Basehor) responded to the call and was able to successfully defibrillate a patient who had a return of spontaneous circulation following the defibrillation. The patient had experienced sudden cardiac arrest while driving and had driven into the Osawatomie School sign at 12th and Parker.

Today, Miami County EMS continues to support the AED program and assists all first responders in maintaining AHA CPR and AED certification. We work with law enforcement and the local fire departments as part of a tiered response system to try and improve survivability with cardiac arrest. We help with the replacement of supplies and provide training to first responders for their continuing education requirements.

In 2006, Miami County EMS transitioned from a Type II ambulance service licensed with the Kansas Board of EMS to a Type I advanced life support ambulance service. As a result, all ambulances are now staffed with a minimum of a Paramedic and an EMT. 

In March of 2007, all 9-1-1 callers started receiving emergency medical dispatch instructions. When someone called 9-1-1, the  dispatch operator could provide instructions on how to perform CPR, control bleeding, clear an obstructed airway, and even how to deliver a baby should the need arise. The dispatcher could also provide information to the ambulance that was being sent to the call. The information the dispatch operator would receive determines the nature of the illness or injury and provide and pertinent information to the responding crew. The dispatcher can advise the responding ambulance to respond emergent (red lights and sirens) or non-emergent or  advise the crew to stage if the scene is not safe to enter.

Also In 2007, grant money was received to purchase a John Deer Gator to be used for access to patients in remote locations and for use during stand-by events and large gatherings such as the John Brown Jamboree and the Paola Roots Festival. The Gator is equipped with a platform for patient transport, advanced life support equipment, and emergency lighting and communication equipment.

A back injury prevention program was implemented by Miami County EMS in attempt to promote physical fitness and wellness. As part of the program, crewmembers are able to workout at a local gym while they are on duty. Stryker Power-PRO hydraulic cots and Stryker stair chairs were purchased in support of the program are now in every ambulance. Every ambulance also utilizes a hydraulic oxygen lift to prevent the need to lift heavy oxygen cylinders. As back injuries are common to EMS providers and are too often career-ending injuries, we focus on employee safety and their fitness and health. We promote safe lifting techniques and provide equipment to try and keep our staff safe and healthy as a way to promote longevity in their career with our department.

In 2008, Miami County EMS switched from the traditional 24 hour "Berkley" schedule to the 48/96 schedule. With this new schedule, the crews would work 48 hour shifts with 96 hours off, or work 2 days in a row followed by 4 days off. The staff has repeatedly voted to keep this schedule as it provides more weekends off and more time at home with their families. It also resulted in a significant cost savings to staff due to the cost of fuel and the need to drive to work once every 6 days rather than 2 or 3 times a week.

Also in 2008, Miami County EMS added MedVaults to each ambulance. The MedVault allows for secure storage of controlled medications with a trackable personal identification system. In addition, all ambulances are equipped with refrigerators that allow for medications and fluids to be kept cool for use with therapeutic hypothermia and in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and protocol compliance. Each ambulance also has an IV fluid warmer for when warmed fluids are needed for trauma and burns.

In 2010, Miami County EMS contracted with the Johnson County Emergency Communications Center to provide all dispatching services to Miami County EMS. All ambulances and administrative vehicles are equipped with mobile data terminals (MDTs) and have automatic vehicle location (AVL) equipment. All responding vehicles are provided dispatch information based upon the closest available unit. Routing and all other pertinent call information is provided through the MDTs. All 9-1-1 callers will continue to receive instructions from trained emergency medical dispatchers to provide life saving information until the ambulance arrives. En route to the scene, the ambulance crew continues to receive updates and information that may be important to treat the patient or necessary to gain access to the patient. 

Miami County EMS also incorporated computerized technology for patient care reporting. All patient care reports are generated through laptop or desktop computers and entered through ImageTrend patient care reporting software.  This is part of a statewide initiative for data collection.  

Miami County EMS has received grants from the Baehr, Roman, and Smith foundations to place new PhysioControl LifePak-15 cardiac monitors on our ambulances. All our cardiac monitors have 12-Lead ECG capability, etCO2, pulse oximetry with carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin monitoring capability, and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring.


A reserve program was implemented in 2011 to allow individuals that have an interest in our ambulance service to get an opportunity to participate as a volunteer. This program allows for EMTs and Paramedics to get to know our department and provides a pathway to future employment in a part-time or full-time capacity. 


In 2013, Dave Ediger was named the new EMS Chief of Miami County EMS and Frank Burrow was promoted to the Deputy Chief position. New protocols were implemented with some new procedures that include the King Vision video laryngoscope and IV syringe pumps for medication administration. Procedures such as Rapid Sequence Induction (RSI) remain as part of standing orders along with some new initiatives. The new protocols include a new sepsis protocol, changes to the stroke protocol that includes the use of the NIH stroke scale to aid in transport decisions, Spinal motion restriction protocols with changes in the use of the long spine board, and the use of Tranexamic Acid with uncontrolled hemorrhage. Staff is currently participating in clinical rotations in critical care units at the University of Kansas Hospital and Overland Park Regional Medical Center were our staff get hands-on training to help us continue to provide quality care to the residents of Miami County



Miami County EMS--32765 Clover Dr, Paola, KS 66071--(913)294-5010

Miami County, KS Official Website