Labette County Emergency Management

Larry L. Steeby, Parsons Fire Chief/Labette County Emergency Manager

Like any governmental agency, funding is always a topic of concern. Presently, we are being asked to do more with fewer resources than ever before. Our county is one of the poorest per capita in Kansas. People here struggle just to pay their bills and feed their families. Grants from the Parsons Area Community Foundation allow organizations like ours to provide some basic needs to our citizens.

Through foundation grants, our agency has distributed smoke detectors to county residents who would otherwise go to bed at night without any means of being alerted to a fire in their home. These smoke detectors have saved lives, and with an average life expectancy of about ten years, they will continue to aid residents for years to come.

We’ve also been able to gift each volunteer fire department in our county with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) to provide much needed medical equipment to our first responders. Equipment that costs thousands of dollars is usually too expensive for these agencies to consider, even though it is one of the most important lifesaving tools they need. AED’s are proven to help save lives if used in the first few minutes of a patient experiencing a heart attack. In rural areas like Labette County, providing equipment like AED’s to our first responders can make all the difference in medical emergencies.

Efforts by the Parsons Area Community Foundation to support projects like ours really demonstrates the positive impact a community foundation can have on the local area.