OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- An Overland Park neighborhood is about to get some new neighbors who specialize in saving lives. The city bought a home for sale and turned it into a 'squad house.'
A home at the corner of Indian Creek Parkway and Reeds Road will soon house six people over three shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The location was chosen to be time-saving. When seconds count, it's also life-saving.
Brad Cusick is the EMS Chief for the Overland Park Fire Department. He will supervise Squad 47. Its location, near 103rd and Lamar, was chosen for a reason.
"It's a very busy part of the city," Chief Cusick said.
When the home was going through the rezoning process, some neighbors voiced concerns, but the department was quick to extinguish them and promised them the squad wouldn't cause a disruption.
"They wont use their lights and sirens until they get to Lamar, Nall or 103rd if they go up Reeds (Road). So no more noise than usual," said neighbor Charlie Gilbert.
It wont be an eyesore either, the only piece of equipment stationed at the home will be an SUV.
"When this is parked in the garage, if you drove by you wouldn't even know that it was a fire station or squad house, the idea is to blend in be kind of incognito," explained Chief Cusick
In addition to being a good neighbor, the department is very conscious of response times. The new squad house is almost in the center of the busiest area in the city. The new unit will alleviate some of the excess calls from two different fire stations and let them focus on calls other than medical.
"Our demand is in EMS, so the question we have to answer is: What is the right piece of equipment, what is the right way to meet that demand? Again, efficient, economical and it's very effective way to do that," said Chief Cusick
The squad house officially goes on-line in a few weeks.