It’s National EMS week. Emergency Medical Services are essential in our county. and we are grateful! 

“We see people at some of the darkest or hardest times in their life and even though some don’t go the way we would like, others do and it is rewarding, knowing you were able to help them get through it,” said EMT David Stimatze.

Brandee English PA-C, explained how the EMS team goes beyond their duty. As a critical access hospital, most of the time, a critical patient is stabilized and shipped to a larger facility as soon as possible 

English said, “Alan and the EMS team have stayed many extra hours in the ER and have been at our right hand, intubating, assisting in CPR, placing IOs and IVs, being extra hands, supporting families, and much more during codes and trauma.”

“Transferred patients up to five or six hours away, working wrecks that take multiple hours, all while some of them still have to go to their full-time jobs the next day,” said English. 

So the Hamilton County Emergency Medical Service maintains a three vehicle fleet and recently added a 2020 Ford F 550 diesel ambulance, replacing the 1991 ambulance. “It was state of the art in it’s day,” said Hanson.  

Hanson explained the reason for maintaining three ambulances is the need for a backup in case one breaks down, and they must wait for parts, an out of town patient transport and if a call comes in within the county..  

Currently the EMT’s are David and Shelia Stimatze, Sarah Ochs, Debbie Hanson, Susanna Banuelos, Garett Shamburg, Rick Dikeman, Tregg Thomeczek, Raul Leyva and RN’s Dana Shamburg and Jonna Upson.

Dr Stephenson praised the EMT’s “I cannot emphasize enough how important our EMS is to our community’s well being. They are the critical infrastructure needed to get those in need to definitive care.  They constantly put the well being of patients above their own while performing a physically and emotionally difficult service. The number of lives that they are directly responsible for saving is immense and they should absolutely be recognized for it.” . 

Hanson feels fortunate to have volunteers because they are there for the heart.  “Pay has nothing to do with it.”  He explains that first responders are people who get the call to go someplace that people are running out of which may include firefighters, police officers deputy sheriffs, highway patrols, firefighters, but to take it farther, lineman, gas workers, wreckers, highway departments, city workers, and even road grader operators who are called to clear a path for first responders,

Garett Shamburg feels his years of serving the public in EMS is his way of being part of the community, making a contribution.

Sarah Ochs enjoys helping people and being available during emergencies, and “When the pager goes off, your heart races and you never know exactly what you will find at the scene.” 

While visiting with Hanson, he was finishing cleaning equipment and explained this past week has been an unusually trying one with the number of situations within a short time. ATV accident on Thursday, two transported, one was flown out, rollover accident then another accident Saturday evening at the sand park about 10:30 pm, they then assisted in the ER until flight team showed up, and got home at 3:00 am. To make their jobs easier the new ambulance is equipped for ease of access to items they most often need. Most compartments are accessible from the inside as well. They recently purchased a cardiac monitor with COVID funds, making both ambulances the same, equipment wise, “One of the goals since I have been here,” said Hanson. 

The ambulance is a crawl through, so they installed radios to communicate back and forth. A nice feature about the radio is in case they have a family member in the passenger seat, sometimes they need to communicate about the patient, without the family hearing, which can help keep the family calm in an extreme emergency situation. 

There is also a rear-view camera so the driver can view what is going on in the back. The patient area is more comfortable with the standard air ride suspension. “We don’t have to zig zag around the dips taking patients to the airport for transfer. 

Hanson feels they work more efficiently with the extra storage, allowing items to be color coded, and they have room to organize their supplies. It came equipped with electronic oxygen, so there is no reaching through cabinet trying to turn the bottle on. It also monitors the oxygen level and alerts you when it is getting low. 

The back of the vehicle is highly reflective, making it easily seen in emergency situations. Another recognizable outward sign on an ambulance is the “Star of Life” symbol. The symbol is a serpent and staff which portrays the staff of Asclepius, an ancient Greek physician deified as the god of medicine. Each bar on the “Star of Life” represents one of six EMS functions which include, detection, reporting, response, on-scene care, care in transit, and transfer to definitive care.

Overall, the staff represents medicine and healing, with the skin-shedding serpent being indicative of renewal.

In closing Hanson explains by being a first responder, they typically see the worse of the worst and in a small community, that can include family and friends involved in accidents, some of which are fatal. But as is mentioned in the comments from some of the EMT’s, they do it because they care and want to give back to the community. 

 English would like to see a lot more younger adults be on the EMS team and in addition to those interested in medical field. “Please talk to Alan, Sarah, or Sheila and become part of Hamilton County’s first responders!” said English.  







Accident at Sand Park

On Saturday afternoon at the Syracuse Sand Dunes park, a Can Am 4 seater was traveling in the sand dunes and rolled. 4 adults in the Can Am two adult females were transported to the Hamilton County Hospital with unknown injuries. All were wearing helmets and seatbelts. All we're... [More]


KDOT Work Zone - South Highway 27

Traveling on south on Main Street, also known as Highway 27, has been a challenge for many but the end result will be a great improvement for the City of Syracuse and those traveling this highway.  But like remodeling an old home, city projects can have unexpected things... [More]

Broadband, phone discounts available for students and families

Broadband, phone discounts available for students and families TOPEKA – The start of a new school year is an expensive time for families.  If you are struggling to pay for phone and internet service while navigating back to school costs, help is available. The... [More]


Earlier this week, the Hamilton County Health Department released an infograph of COVID-19 cases in our county. However  the graph’s statistics can be somewhat confusing and a lot of the information is from the spring of 2020.  I spoke with the Health Department... [More]


Fall Crops Shrinking

It was a long, long wheat harvest because of continuous rains. Fall crops looked well despite some hail damage.  Today many dryland fall crops that looked like a bumper crop, set to be harvested in the next month or two,  look gray and are dying.  Dryland corn... [More]


The Kansas Highway Patrol will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint sometime during the weekend of August 27, 2021 through August 29, 2021. The sobriety checkpoint will be conducted on roadways and/or highway(s) throughout Hamilton County during this time period. The focus of... [More]

K-27 reduced to one lane in Syracuse

K-27 reduced to one lane in Syracuse Update Aug 13 - on the K-27 Syracuse project.  The contractor has let us know that they will be setting up the temporary traffic signals and traffic at the south end of project will be reduced to one lane controlled by a temporary signal... [More]


Hart Enters Tentative Plea Agreement

On Thursday August 12, 2021, Austyn Hart appeared before Judge Christopher Velez with his attorney Steve Cott.  He waived his preliminary hearing and entered a tentative plea agreement of guilty or no contest to count 1 of both the Aggravated Arson of the Brummett home... [More]

More News


So Shines A Good Deed In A Weary World

 I can get caught up in the world’s problems. I get overwhelmed by so many things I can’t control. I want to save the little girls in Afghanistan that are being taken and “Married” off to the Taliban. I want to stop the sex trafficking here in our... [More]

A Little Humility

Travis Tritt sang the lyrics, “I had to find out for myself the hard way. You can’t tell me nothin’ “ When I was younger I knew everything. You couldn’t tell me a thing. Ok you still can’t tell me much. And that attitude got me in so much... [More]

A Gentle Whisper

Have you heard that saying, “If you want God to laugh, tell Him your plans.” I had plans. Plans to wake up and drink 100 ounces of water for the day. Plans to take a run, to write my book, to organize and clean the house. Plans plans plans. Instead I am spending... [More]


Almost every year our family takes a quick jaunt somewhere to regroup and refresh and build memories together. We go camping, hiking, rafting, sightseeing and some shopping. But this summer went so fast our family didn’t have time to take a quick trip away. So we took... [More]

Small Town Life

Small town life is good isn’t it? I think sometimes we forget how good it is. When I see what goes on in large cities I cringe. Example, a woman called me because she had an error in an obituary and would I fix it? And she was so sorry to bother me. I gave her my... [More]

I'm Still Alive

Eddie Vedder, lead singer of Pearl Jam once said he wrote the lyrics to Alive. - I’m still alive - with sadness and heartache.  When he sang it to the packed stadiums, the audience screamed it back to him with joy. “I’m still alive!”  It struck... [More]

See You At The Fair!

See you at the fair! About 55 kids and 30 families from 4-H and FFA in Hamilton County have worked hard most of the year to get ready for one week of exhibitions and competitions. And with that comes a parade, street dance, demo derby, Ranch rodeo and much more for the community... [More]

Having Fun Yet?

Have you heard that saying, “No one ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I’d spent more time working”? Well I am guessing they never met a farmer. I am pretty sure there have been some death bed thoughts that went something like “But I need to get... [More]

More Opinions



HS Track

Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]



Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]


Spring Sports Start

One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]



Substate began and ended quickly but these Varsity teams left it all out on the court. In heartbreaking last second baskets, our basketball season was over. The boys lost by two points in the last five seconds and the girls lost by three. A wrap up of the season will come in... [More]



The SHS Bulldogs faced the 4-A Holcomb Longhorns for the final home game of the season, with the varsity teams unable to win. The boys will be the number three seed in first sub state match up at home, Monday, March 1, against the number 6 seed, Stanton County. This will be the... [More]


Junior High Bulldog Basketball

The Syracuse Jr. High basketball season has come to end following the High Plains League Tournament last Saturday. And what a season it was. It began when Head coach Jeff Mathias resigned from basketball due to his wife Tori’s health concerns. “The kids love... [More]



The varsity Bulldogs have finished the annual High Plains League Tournament and now looking toward the rest of the season. They will travel to Johnson to face the Stanton County Trojans Friday, January 29.  Junior Varsity boys and girls will play at 3:45, varsity girls... [More]



Syracuse High School varsity basketball teams began the High Plain League Tournament this week. The Monday Tuesday games were hosted by Stanton County and the Thursday, Friday Saturday games will be in Syracuse.  According to Athletics Director, Dan Delgado, this is the... [More]

More Sports


Donald Wayne Rogers

Donald Wayne Rogers, age 90, went to be with his Lord & Savior Jesus Christ at the Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, Kansas on September 18, 2021. He was born on June 30, 1931, in rural Kearny County, but his life was lived in Hamilton County.  He attended rural... [More]

Linda L. Bearce

Linda L. Bearce, age 77, passed away Tuesday, September 21, 2021, at Stanton County Long Term Care Unit in Johnson, Kansas.  She was born October 11, 1943, in Pratt, Kansas, the daughter of Albert and Lois (Wilson) Clark. Linda grew up in Pratt, Kansas, and moved to Syracuse,... [More]

Bart Alan Lillibridge

Bart Alan Lillibridge started his journey in life on February 11, 1962 born in Dodge City Kansas to Al & Wilma Lillibridge.   His life had an abrupt ending on earth on September 19, 2021 in Garden City, Kansas. Bart lived life to the fullest and was most happiest in... [More]

Donald Wayne Rogers

Donald Wayne Rogers, age 90, passed away at the Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, Kansas on Saturday, September 18, 2021. He was born on June 30, 1931 in Lakin, Kansas, the son of Wayne Leonard Rogers and Elda Elizabeth (Dyck) Rogers.  Funeral Services will be held... [More]

Janet Sue (Daugherty) Davis

Janet Sue (Daugherty) Davis was born October 29, 1935 to William S. and Virginia Ward (Walter) Daugherty in Hays, KS where her father was employed by the Eli Lilly Co.  Sue passed away September 20th, 2021 in the Hamilton County Hospital.   Sue started school as Janet,... [More]


Robert Graber

Robert Graber September 30, 1932 – September 14, 2021   Robert Graber, age 88, passed away September 14, 2021, at Huntsville Hospital. A 30- year resident of Decatur, AL, Bob was born in Pretty Prairie, Kansas in 1932. He is survived by his wife, Norma Graber.... [More]


Duane L. Shamburg

Duane L. Shamburg, age 91, passed away Monday, September 13, 2021.  He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Army.  He was a Son, Citizen, Scholar, Student, Farmer, Retailer, Restaurant Manager, Cook, Soldier, Intercept Operator, Military Officer, Instructor,... [More]


Eloise Munoz

Eloise Munoz was born in Syracuse, Kansas on February 2, 1958 to Mike and Rosie Munoz. Eloise passed away on September 8, 2021 in her home in Wichita, Kansas.  Eloise grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse High School. After graduation, Eloise went to work at... [More]

More Obituaries

View All Obituaries