Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Contact Us:
The Harvey County Independent
220 Main St.
Halstead, KS 67056

Search this site:

Halstead, Sedgwick EMS Make Temporary Agreement

Posted 3/2/2017

By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Halstead City Council agreed to form a temporary agreement with Sedgwick for EMS service for four months from March to June during their council meeting Monday night. The decision comes as Sedgwick is officially without an ambulance license as of March 1.

The motion was passed with little discussion by the council in public, although the council did start the meeting with a closed session of about 30 minutes for matters deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship.

After the public meeting resumed, outgoing County Administrator John Waltner addressed the council about a temporary agreement for EMS service.

“I’m coming to you to just ask you to seriously consider entering into this agreement with the City of Sedgwick, knowing that it’s going to require a commitment on the part of some of your staff to engage in more conversation with the City of Sedgwick,” Waltner said. “Harvey County will indeed be glad to work with those conversations, to do everything we can to try to get people to reach an agreement that everyone can live with that will provide service.”

Waltner explained that the county distributes tax money to the different EMS services in Harvey County based on their service area. Sedgwick receives about $35,000 a year from the county, made in quarterly installments. He said the county would send these tax dollars to Halstead EMS for the four months of service in this temporary agreement.

“I don’t view this as a permanent solution at all,” Waltner said. “I think it’s a way of providing service in the meantime.”

Sedgwick council member Kirby Stucky also briefly addressed the Halstead council.

“We’re certainly in a dire situation,” he said. “We’d appreciate any help you can give us.

It’s a pretty muddy and rocky road for us, but we are trying to get this resolved.”

Right before the motion was passed, council member Dennis Travis did emphasize that this is only a temporary solution.

“I’d just like to point out that the temporary agreement is going to come with a deadline,” Travis said. “I would like to encourage your governing body to be proactive in finding a solution. We shouldn’t be putting the burden on our citizens to offer you guys services, but we’re going to be a good neighbor.”

Mayor Bill Ewert noted that Halstead and Sedgwick already have a working relationship with their animal control officer.

“We’d like to think we’re good neighbors to each other, and this certainly is a situation of humanitarian effort, and we would not want to shirk our responsibility in that,” Ewert said.