Fire Chief Luke McCormick spoke to the Progress Club at the January meeting. His experience with the Great Bend Fire Department goes back 23 years. Having come from Timkin, his work in the department started at age 19.
The qualifications to be on the force include physical fitness, extensive testing by demonstration and written exams.
The job of a firefighter is a physically demanding job. On average the department will answer three fire calls and six ambulance calls each day. Equipment needed, such as vehicles and cardiac monitors, are very costly. Included in the staff at the Great Bend fire department are 11 paramedics, 12 advanced EMTs and three EMTs. Paramedic training extends 18 months beyond advanced EMT training.