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Kansas City Ambulance Furor Distills

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The panel that oversees policies for the Kansas City Fire Ambulance Service will expand and refocus if the City Council approves in two weeks.

The idea arising from a Monday meeting of the City Council Emergency Services Committee is to keep power within the Council elected members.

The amendment to the city’s code of ordinances would add an additional Council member and an emergency room doctor to the body that directs ambulance operations.

Sponsor Councilman Ed Ford said he intends to keep powers outside the council from changing important rules “so if the City Council has a policy that we want response times to 9 minutes or less on life threatening emergencies, that can’t be ignored.”

Critics have said the EMS Coordinating committee is top heavy with fire department and union representation. And the proposed arrangement adds more neutral membership.

The full council is expected to consider the plan in early December.

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