Vol. 3, Issue 1                                       January 2019
This past month has been very busy and exciting. We said goodbye to Commissioners Unruh and Ranzau and hello to Commissioners Meitzner and Cruse. We opened EMS Post 15 in northeast Wichita and added EMS crews to Sedgwick County Fire Station 39 in Garden Plain. Commissioners were briefed on plans for a replacement for Fire Station 31 in Andale. We also finalized our legislative platform for the upcoming legislative session in Topeka; it includes support for behavioral health initiatives, transportation and infrastructure, and workforce development. 

On a more national scale, we participated in the commissioning ceremony of the USS Wichita in Jacksonville, Florida, welcomed the new KC-46A to McConnell Air Force Base, and participated in the ribbon cutting for the new hangar and education center for the B-29, Doc. We participated in the renaming of a portion of the Dole Center at McConnell AFB in honor of Lt. Erwin Bleckley, a World War I Medal of Honor recipient from Wichita. And the community welcomed a team who will decide if McConnell AFB will win the prestigious Installation Excellence Award for the United States Air Force.  

There are a number of important events coming up, including decisions on the Sedgwick County Zoo, reviewing our organizational strategic plan and developing the 2020 budget. In addition, there is some concern about potential wind energy projects in western Sedgwick County; please know that our staff is busy looking into that issue in detail.

As always, it is an honor to serve the citizens of Sedgwick County and support our 3,000 employees.  
County leaders open new EMS post
Sedgwick County leaders on Tuesday, January 8, opened the newest Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Post 15, located at 3575 N. Webb Road. 

EMS Post 15 is a 2,998-square-foot, pre-engineered steel structure with double drive-thru bays. It will be staffed 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and will have the capacity to house two 24/7 crews and ambulances, if needed in the future. Sedgwick County EMS responds to an average of 175 requests for service a day and more than 62,000 responses a year. 

“This new EMS Post and the ambulance in Garden Plain are welcome additions to our dedication to public safety,” said Chairman David Dennis. “Sedgwick County continuously looks for ways to enhance services and support for our residents.”  

MultiCon, Inc. and Krehbiel Architecture were selected as the general contractor and architect for this project. The project took seven months to complete with a budget of $1.4 million. EMS Post 15 is the 16th EMS post in Sedgwick County. Click here to watch a video of the project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr7aj-SDzUI&t=3s
Projects in District 3
Asphalt path construction near the Sedgwick County Extension Center
  • Asphalt work to be completed in warmer temperatures
Crews continue to work on the Kellogg/ I-235 interchange rebuild. This first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
Update on Kellogg/ 235 interchange
Project updates can be found at www.235kelloggcentral.com and include:

  • All ramps are open but temporary lane closures are possible for regular maintenance chores or to complete minor items from the construction punch list.
  • Work continues on bridge painting, landscaping, and fence construction but traffic should not be affected.
EMS declared Battle of the Badges winner
Congratulations to EMS for winning the 2018 Battle of the Badges blood drive! A total of 878 pints of blood and more than 400 platelets were donated during the blood drive. 

The American Red Cross hosted the annual Battle of the Badges blood drive December 17 to December 31. People could donate blood, receive a t-shirt, and vote for their favorite public safety agency. Sedgwick County EMS, Sedgwick County Fire District 1, Sedgwick County Sheriff, Wichita Fire Department, and Wichita Police Department participated in the event. 
Keep your pets safe from the cold
Just like people, pets’ tolerance of cold weather varies. Sedgwick County Animal Control has a few tips to help pet owners keep their furry friends safe and warm this winter.
  • Know the limits – If you are cold, your pet is too. Pets are not more resistant to the cold than people; some breeds are bred for colder climates and may be more tolerant, but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time during extreme weather.
  • There’s no place like home – Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather. If pets are unable to come inside during cold weather, provide them with a shelter that protects from all types of weather. Bedding material should be thick, dry, and changed as needed. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from the direction of wind and keep water fresh at all times to avoid frozen water dishes.
  • Recommendations and requirements – All cats and dogs in Sedgwick County must have a current rabies vaccination obtained by a veterinarian. All dogs in Sedgwick County, regardless of location, are required to be licensed. Make sure the contact information on your pet’s collar is correct. Microchips are recommended too.

For more information, visit www.sedgwickcounty.org/animal-control/ or call (316) 660-7070. Wichita residents may call (316) 350-3360 instead.
Flu season still in full swing
In winter, the number of people ill with influenza (flu) increases. It is not too late to protect yourself. The best way to fight flu is to get vaccinated every year. A flu shot is recommended for anyone six months or older, unless otherwise directed by a physician. Your provider may offer the FluMist vaccine which is recommended for those ages 2 through 49 years old. Vaccination can keep you from getting the flu, make the flu less severe and stop the spread of flu to others.

The Sedgwick County Division of Health main clinic at 2716 W. Central in Wichita offers free flu shots for uninsured Sedgwick County residents age 19 and older (until the supply runs out). For children up to age 18, flu shots are available to uninsured for a sliding fee and at no cost to children with state-sponsored insurance plans such as Medicaid, Aetna, United Healthcare, or Sunflower.

Flu is caused by influenza viruses and spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact. Anyone can get the flu. It strikes suddenly and can last several days. Symptoms can include fever/chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny, or stuffy nose.

You can prevent the spread of flu with these simple steps:
  1. Get a flu shot.
  2. Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer if soap and running water are not available.
  3. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  4. Stay home if you become ill.
Commission sets new legislative agenda
The Board of County Commissioners found consensus with regional partners to support legislative efforts in essential community areas including behavioral health, transportation/ infrastructure, and workforce development.

Commissioners highlighted specific initiatives related to behavioral health and other initiatives the County will pursue during the legislative season. The full platform can be found here: https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/media/54531/legislative-platform.pdf  
New Commissioners take office
Sunday afternoon, January 13, Commissioner Pete Meitzner (District 1), Commissioner Lacey Cruse (District 4), and Commissioner Jim Howell (District 5) were sworn in to serve as commissioners during the Oath of Office ceremony. Watch the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJpwfoTI6sQ
Commission selects new Chairman
Wednesday, January 16, the Board of County Commissioners selected Commissioner David Dennis (District 3) to represent the Board as Chairman and Commissioner Pete Meitzner (District 1) to serve as Chair Pro Tem. They will serve in these capacities for one year. 
Commissioners welcome KC-46A Pegasus to McConnell Air Force Base
On January 25, Commissioners welcomed the first two KC-46A Pegasus tankers to McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita. Congratulations Team McConnell for an outstanding event celebrating this special arrival to the Air Capital of the World.
County celebrates new home for Doc
Last February, Commissioners approved a donation to Doc’s Friends to preserve this B-29’s history and legacy. On January 26, a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony took place near Eisenhower National Airport for the new Hangar and Education Center. Doc played a critical role in our nation's history and Wichita’s history, and we are thrilled Doc has a new home right here in the Air Capital of the World.
County officials attend USS Wichita commissioning
The USS Wichita (LCS 13), a Freedom-class littoral combat ship, was commissioned on Saturday, January 12. Sedgwick County Commission Chairman David Dennis and County Clerk Kelly Arnold joined a delegation of people from the Wichita area for the celebration.

Chairman Dennis spoke during Friday’s event, “…the USS Wichita is inspiration for our community. It encourages us to stay on a steady course as we pursue shared goals across unknown waters of opportunity and adversity.”

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran provided the keynote during Saturday’s commissioning.

Click on the photo to watch a short video about the Keeper of the Seas and follow the ship on Facebook for more commissioning photos and information. 
Farewell to Commissioners Unruh and Ranzau
Commissioner Richard Ranzau and Commissioner Dave Unruh attended their final meeting as commissioners on Wednesday, January 9. A reception followed the meeting. Commissioner Unruh served for 16 years and Commissioner Ranzau served for 8 years.
As the top outdoor family attraction in the State, the mission of the Sedgwick County Zoo is to inspire discovery, appreciation, and respect for animals and nature. It is home to 3,000 animals and nearly 400 species. The Reed Family Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley exhibit is the third largest elephant habitat in the United States. 
Exploration Place, Kansas’ premier science center, inspires a deeper interest in science through creative and fun experiences for people of all ages. Through its permanent and travelling exhibits, education programs, Digital Dome Theater films and special events, visitors can enjoy learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. For example, the all-new, 5,100 square foot Design Build Fly exhibit celebrates our community’s aviation industry. Visitors encounter dozens of hands-on activities that focus on manufacturing and engineering to reveal what happens behind-the-scenes in our aircraft plants.   
The Kansas African American Museum endeavors to make the Kansas African American experience resonate with EVERY Kansan. Located in the venerable Calvary Baptist Church, visitors may expand their knowledge and understanding of the Kansas African American story. 
Residents and visitors can gain an understanding of our community and cultural heritage at the Wichita – Sedgwick County Historical Museum. By collecting, preserving, and interpreting materials which reflect the area’s heritage visitors can experience different facets that shaped the community we live in today.  
County Information
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203
Contact Strategic Communications Director:
Van Williams, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 315, Wichita, KS 67203 
Contact Public Information Officer:
Kate Flavin, 316-660-9370
525 N. Main, Ste 315, Wichita, KS 67203