Plans to re-name a number of highways in south-central Kansas has Reno County Sheriff Captain Wayne Baughman concerned. This would include segments of highways K-14, and K-17, in Kingman and Reno County.
K-14 from U-S-54 in Kingman County to K-61 southwest of Arlington is being changed to K-11, while K-17 from U-S-54 in Kingman County to K-96 in Reno County will be now known as K-14.
Sheriff Officials have been told to use the new road names for any future accident reports.
But, Captain Baughman says the roll over accident they worked Thursday morning could have resulted in a delay of valuable emergency treatment of the victim. He says in this case, the caller said the roll over was at K-17 and Pretty Prairie Rd., which is now considered K-14 and Pretty Prairie Rd.
An experienced dispatcher knew the changes and sent Pretty Prairie Fire and EMS units to the right location. However, the dispatch was heard by another EMS station that covers the territory 14-miles west of that location, which before this change was always known as K-14 and Pretty Prairie Rd, but is now known as K-11 and Pretty Prairie Rd. The wrecker service that was called was only given K-14 and Pretty Prairie Rd. and having not been told otherwise, responded to the location as to where they knew it was from their past experiences and was actually 14-miles west of the actual location.
That means that its possible an EMS unit, or county fire unit could be sent to the wrong location as well. Baughman worries that a mix up like that could cause a delay in getting to a victim that may need medical treatment.
To make matters even more confusing, the highway signs have yet to be changed meaning that even though it says one thing such as your on K-17, you’re actually on K-14.
No word on when the signs will be changed, but Baughman thinks it could be weeks.