Theresa Cline's father had a diabetic stroke last month in Douglass. Records show it took EMS crews 23 minutes to get to him. Emergency workers from Augusta had to take detours because of construction underway on US Highway 77. "If 77 was open, I could drive to Augusta, if i'm in a hurry in 12 minutes," Cline said. "I know they could have gotten here in 10-12 minutes."
Butler County's 911 director calls that situation predictable. The Kansas Department of Transportation planned to put in access roads along highway 77 for emergencies, but didn't. The situation has Douglass community leaders considering alternatives. "That includes putting a paid ambulance in Douglass during this phase and the county commissioners are studying the financial impacts of that now," said 911 Director Chris Davis.
The Kansas Department of Transportation decided putting in an emergency road was too costly and time consuming.