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Police Department to get new armor vests
New vests lighter, easier to use
police vest pic
At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Great Bend Police Department Sgt. Gary Davis modeled one of the new body armor vests being purchased by the department.

New ambulance fees adopted

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Great Bend City Council Monday night adopted an ordinance updating and raising the city’s ambulance service fees.

The current fees were established in April 2014 and haven’t been updates since even though medical costs have risen, Fire Chief Luke McCormick said. So the fire Department staff has conducted a survey of the surrounding ambulance charges in 16 communities, as well as the allowable charges from Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Medicare.

The following fees shall be charged for ambulance service to each patient occupying an ambulance:

Basic life support, non-emergency - $425

Basic life support, emergency - $600

Advanced life support, non-emergency - $475

Advanced life support, emergency - $750

Advanced life support 2/advanced ALS - $900

Non-transport with drugs - $100, plus cost of drugs

Non-Emergency without drugs or transport after three in one year - $100

Great Bend Police Department Sgt. Gary Davis strolled around the Events Center conference room Monday night modeling one of the new body armor vests he and other officers will using. Although he joked about the vest’s style, he told the City Council they are vital life-saving equipment. 

The council approved the purchase of vests and vest equipment carriers from Baysinger’s Uniform and Supply for $44,550, and pouches from Zero 9 Holsters for $4,613.40.

With the traditional gunbelt laden with gear weighing in at well over 20 pounds, moving some of the gear to the vest pouches helps spread out the load, Davis said. The new vests with Kevlar inserts are lighter, more comfortable and easier to use, and help prevent back issues.

The current body armor is only warranted by the manufacturer for five years and will be out of warranty soon, Police Chief Steve Haulmark said. The department has been budgeting $7,500 each year for this purpose during years 2019, 2020 and 2021 for a balance of $22,500. 

Additionally, they have a balance of $28,735.14 in the vest grant fund. And there is a possibility the city will receive up to 50% reimbursement through the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership.

This partnership has helped in the past, but that has not been made available as of yet this year, Haulmark said.