Valley Center department grows to improve coverage

The Valley Center Fire Department started 2018 with double the number of full-time firefighters, a move that will allow the department to increase shifts to include evenings and weekends.

By adding two full-time personnel to its roster, shift coverage expanded from eight-hour shifts Mondays through Fridays to 12-hour shifts seven days per week.

“We’re fortunate to have the coverage that we have here,” said Mayor Laurie Dove. “I think it absolutely makes sense for our growing community to extend that coverage. … It’s incredibly important.”

During the overnight hours, full-time and part-time firefighters monitor 911 calls to determine the required response.

“This really takes the guesswork out of the medical calls,” said fire Chief Lonnie Tormey.

The majority of Valley Center’s calls are for medical emergencies. The department has been responding to medical calls since 2010, about the same time Sedgwick County began routinely rotating its Valley Center-based ambulance to areas outside of the city.

(Read more: Valley Center Newswire)