The city of Eudora is considering merging its emergency medical service with its fire department.
"Nothing has been finalized," Mayor Tom Pyle said Tuesday. "It's a logical next step to improving our services to the area."
City Administrator Cheryl Beatty and Fire Chief Randy Ates met last month with Douglas County Administrator Craig Weinaug and county medical officials to discuss a merger. Also attending were Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Chief Mark Bradford and Dr. Scott Robinson, the county's emergency medical director.
Eudora leaders talked with the county officials about taking over the supervisory role of the Eudora EMS operation, Weinaug said. The county emergency medical system sets procedural and training requirements for Eudora EMS.
Weinaug said the county was interested in exploring the merger.
"At this point it's just an idea, but I think it's an idea that has merit," Weinaug said.
Weinaug noted that the bulk of the people served by Eudora EMS are the city's residents as well as residents of Eudora Township.
Talk of a merger, however, has made EMS medics nervous about possible layoffs, which they said would be unfair.
There are about 10 current EMS volunteers and five more in training. They said they wanted to be in on future discussions about a merger. Some of them also work for the Eudora city and township fire departments.
"We want this to be out in the open," said Doug Rhoads, who has been with Eudora EMS for more than two years.
Pyle said the intent of the merger was not to lay off people.
"We need all the employees we can get," he said.
Pyle also said he expected any potential merger to be discussed soon at a City Council meeting.
A merger would have to be approved by the City Council, the Eudora Township Board and the Douglas County Commission, Pyle said.