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Rescue vehicle will improve safety
A fire rescue vehicle made by Unruh Fire of Sedgwick is similar to the fire rescue vehicle purchased by the Larned Fire Department. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

LARNED — Larned Fire Chief Bill Clapham said public safety and firefighter safety will be enhanced with the purchase of a specially-designed fire rescue vehicle.
The Larned city council approved a $138,000 bid from Unruh Fire of Sedgwick Monday night for a 2012 International Terra-Star rescue vehicle that will suit the firefighters’ needs. Unruh fire trucks are custom-built and individually configured by firefighters to meet exact needs and specifications. The city will pay for the vehicle from and equipment reserve fund targeted for fire and ambulance services.
Clapham said a 1986 Chevy retrofitted van serves as the current fire rescue vehicle for fires and accidents in Pawnee County. He said it’s common that the rescue vehicle will be used several times a month.
“It’s capable of carrying up to six people, but it’s not nearly as safe as the new vehicle,” he said.
The new vehicle is specifically designed for fire and emergency rescue with secure seating for five people and equipment secured in outside compartments.
“The company is excited to sell us the vehicle and we are excited to get it,” Clapham said. “The equipment will be safely secured and much easier to retrieve for firefighters. Everything will be readily accessible. I feel much better about the safety for everyone involved.”
Larned city manager Don Gaeddert said the city searched for used vehicles, but determined a new vehicle suited for fire and emergency safety was the best buy.
“They have been running the old van for quite some time and it didn’t have enough seats for everyone,” he said. “We advertised for bids.”
In other business:
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES Annual dues for The National League of Cities was approved for $800.
Gaeddert said a Prescription Drug Program sponsored by the National League of Cities has paid dividends to local citizens who lack prescription insurance coverage. Gaeddert said discount cards are available to local residents for prescription drug discounts.
He said an average savings of $9.64 per order has been saved on more than 550 prescriptions sold to local residents. Cards are available at city hall or local pharmacies.
Larned PRIDE is coordinating a district-wide work day April 1 for renovations at Doerr Vernon Park. High school and middle school students will begin a work day that will help renovate the park. A frontier-themed splash pad and new playground will be installed.
Gaeddert said other civic groups and organizations will also contribute time and effort. More than $90,000 in volunteer labor is expected on the project.
“It’s a great show of teamwork to make something happen,” he said. “There will be a lot of contractors that will donate time and equipment.”   
The council agreed to pay the Kansas League of Municipalities $4,000 to handle the search for a new Larned city manager. Gaeddert is working until June 30, 2011.
The council passed approval for a skateboard event tied into Santa Fe Trail Days April 29 at Schnack Park sponsored by the Larned Assembly of God.

The council approved a letter of support for the Clean Line Energy Partners in support of the company being approved to operate in the state by the Kansas Corporation Commission as electrical transmission operator.