Wakita-Calling it quits
(Wakita-AP) -- A north-central Oklahoma town is giving up its
ambulance service because of a lack of volunteers.
Officials in the Grant County town of Wakita decided to give up
the license in hopes they can recruit more volunteers and renew the
Town Clerk Kathy Morrison says at least one emergency medical
technician must be on call 24 hours at day, seven days a week, and
the town had just one volunteer.
Morrison says many of the town's previous volunteers quit
because they had to leave Wakita to find jobs.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
This will only promote the migration of private EMS to their nice town. Good luck!
Wakita is a small town in western Oklahoma that enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame when it was totally destroyed by a tornado in the movie "Twister".
According to the Oklahoma State Health Department website, in 1995 Wakita Ambulance ran 72 calls. (Don't know why more current stats aren't up.) The nearest town to Wakita with an ambulance service is Medford, which ran 71 calls the same year. Medford is 15 miles from Wakita.
I don't know what kind of numbers a private EMS service needs to survive, but if you put them both together, you get 143 calls a year, not even one call every other day.
I don't know if the Fire Department at Wakita has been running First Responder, but if not, this might be a good time for them to start thinking about it. Ambulance response times to Wakita could be rather long.
Wakita is about 35 miles from Enid, which has two major hospitals.
This is precisely the situation we're in at Silver City except the ambulance is closer (Silver City couldn't support an ambulance service anyway). Tulsa is 35 miles away. Closest amulance service is at Mannford, a volunteer agency. 9 miles away. (Mannford ran 122 calls during 1995.)
Average response time to this area from Mannford is about 20 minutes, can be longer depending on whether or not they're already out. Backup ambulance is at Drumright, 16 miles away. Helicopters from Tulsa can be here in 20 minutes, and we have a nice LZ at the fire station property.
Silver City VFD will very soon be a certified First Responder agency (passed our site survey today).