EMS

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

If you pull a fire alarm in any large U.S. city, it's likely that paid firefighters waiting at a nearby station will quickly respond.

But seven out of 10 American firefighters are actually volunteers. They cover vast sections of the country, making up an aging network that is increasingly understaffed and overworked.

frankieleon / Flickr - CC

While communities across the country deal with dramatic increases in illegal opioid use, statistics in Johnson County suggest rates of death and addiction closer to home are relatively more stable.

Court filings involving opioid offenses have remained relatively flat in recent years, and illegal use has decreased for hydrocodone and oxycodone, two of the most popular opiates, according to a report from public health and crime experts presented to the Johnson County Commission in June. Heroin use remains steady.

Despite those encouraging numbers, local officials are wary.

Johnson County Emergency Medical Services System

Six area hospitals have signed on to become paying partners in a Johnson County program aimed at providing the high-quality care to patients in need of emergency services.

Under an inter-local agreement approved Thursday by the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, the hospitals will contribute nearly $130,000 annually to the Medical Director Program.

The program has an annual budget of about $350,000. The hospitals’ contributions will replace an operating subsidy from the county.

Report: More Kansas Citians Surviving Cardiac Arrest

Jul 14, 2012
Dr. Joseph Salomone / KCFD

People in Kansas City, Mo. are more likely to survive cardiac arrest and have better long-term outcomes compared to many other cities. That’s according to new data from the Kansas City Missouri Fire Department.