BAXTER SPRINGS, KS.--- Six years ago, the Baxter Springs Emergency Medical Service started out as a volunteer program. Assistant Director of Baxter Springs EMS Jason Bolt says higher authorities didn't believe in the program, but now it has turned into a service that the community couldn't live with out.
"Every year we get a little bit better at what we do," said Jason Bolt, Assistant Director Baxter Springs EMS.
The Baxter Springs EMS has been awarded the 2014 Kansas Emergency Medical Service of the Year by the Kansas EMT Association. Baxter Springs won the award over 174 other emergency medical services in Kansas.
"Being the smallest type one paramedic level service in Kansas. Which means, a paramedic is out on every one of our primary trucks, to every emergency. And budgetary for a small community like this, thats difficult to do, but we've kind of made it work," said Ron Costlow, Service Director Baxter Springs EMS.
In 2012, the Baxter EMS team saved 64% of cardiac arrests in the area, and managed to deliver the patients to the hospital with a restored pulse.
"One of the things we're most proud of, we've had very high success rates with cardiac arrest. We've worked to teach the community a hands only CPR, and to increase the number of people in the community that are trained in CPR," said Bolt.
Baxter EMS says their goal is to make sure more patients going into the emergency room make it out successfully.
"Not just how can we get people to the hospital alive, but how can we get them back home with the same life condition that they had before," said Bolt.
The EMS team has come a long way in the past six years, and paramedics say they still get the same adrenaline rush when serving the community.
"It's all about helping people. I mean, you get it in your blood doing this, and you continue to do it for that reason," said Costlow.
The Baxter EMS team says the award was possible by the support and help they receive regularly from the Baxter police and fire departments. The EMS team also says they are always looking to improve their training and be there for the community.