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Newest MED-ACT station in Shawnee to minimize 911 response times for 79K residents

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Posted at 5:42 PM, May 03, 2024

SHAWNEE, Kan. — Johnson County and the City of Shawnee held a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 30th for their newest MED-ACT station.

The total project was approximately $4.8 million and it was paid through bond funds.

It is located near Midland Drive and Renner Road, servicing the North Central area of Johnson County with over 70,000 residents.

After gathering data on building permits, new housing and average number of 911 calls, the county decided on this location because of its growth.

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“This station was strategically picked," Deputy Chief of Johnson County MED-ACT Scott Sare said. "This location, to give us good access to both 435 down the street and then Midland to go out to the east."

In 2023, MED-ACT received just over 54,000 calls for service with about 60,000 total responses.

On average, Johnson County received about 150 calls a day throughout its locations.

The goal has been to respond to critical emergencies in under 10 minutes, 90 percent of the time.

Now, this new station will help reduce times for Code 1 emergencies by 48 seconds.

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“I think it’s a matter of life and death,” said Larry Brunner, who lives in the service area. "You don’t really worry about ‘em till you need ‘em.”

Since moving into their home in 1986, Brunner and his wife have witnessed a lot of developments. But perhaps none as life-saving as this.

Brunner says he had to call 911 about eight years ago due to heart problems, and he says it took a while for EMS to arrive.

“With getting older and health problems, it’s refreshing, you know, that you’ve got somebody close," Brunner said.

While Brunner still has the strength and vitality, he says EMS is not something you worry about until you need to.

Right across from his house is a assisted living facility as well that he says calls for help several times a week.

In order to help to response times, county EMS is now fully staffed as well.

The county invested heavily into recruitment and retention in Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri by speaking in classrooms and holding open houses for interested applicants.

“Early in January of this year, we actually implemented a new pay plan to be much more competitive in the region,” Sare said.

Sare says the county is looking into west Olathe and De Soto for its next MED-ACT stations.

They believe the new Panasonic plant will bring more people to the area.