City leaders supportive of recommendation to increase county share in funding agreement for fire and medical services

photo by: Nick Krug

Lawrence City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St., is pictured on May 3, 2016.

After an outside study of Lawrence’s and Douglas County’s emergency medical services agreement called for the county to increase its contribution, city leaders said Tuesday that they were ready to move toward the creation of a new agreement.

As part of its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission received a report regarding the EMS study, which was recently completed by the Public Policy and Management Center at Wichita State University. Under the city’s and county’s current agreement to jointly fund and provide emergency medical services, the city pays about three-quarters of the cost for the service and the county pays the remainder, but the consultant recommended that the county increase its share.

Though commissioners had some questions about how the details would ultimately be worked out in a final agreement, they were generally supportive of the recommendations and ready to move forward with the creation of a new draft funding agreement.

The current funding agreement originated in 1996, when the city and county agreed to consolidate the countywide EMS with the City of Lawrence Fire Department, resulting in the current Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical department. The consultants have proposed in part that the county reimburse the city for EMS-only expenses and pay 36% of shared expenses, and that the city and county come to agreement about other matters such as how to handle capital expenses. The County Commission will receive the same report as part of its meeting Wednesday.

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