LINDSBORG — Lindsborg Emergency Medical Services held an open house on Jan. 20 to celebrate the department's move into a new building. EMS volunteers gave tours of the new facility to the public, served refreshments and answered questions from visitors.

"It's a big change for us, because we've never really had a place where we can get together and have our meetings," said Lindsborg EMS volunteer Sandy Champlin.

The 3,400 square foot EMS building sits directly south of the Lindsborg Safety Center at 102 S. First St. Previously, the department had shared space with the Lindsborg Volunteer Fire Department.

"It's a big adjustment from being with the fire crew for so long," Champlin said.

"That was one of the main reasons we put the facility in, to add the living quarters and to keep the ambulances out of where the fire trucks are all kept since they usually come back full of ash and soot and smoke," said Lindsborg Police Chief and Director of Public Safety Tim Berggren.

The new EMS building has two ambulance bays, lockers, bathrooms with showers and a common area with a kitchenette, work spaces and recliners. Living quarters were added in the building for volunteers who cannot make it from their homes to the building in the department's required response time.

"We have five minutes to respond to the station," Champlin explained.

Along with storage spaces on the ground floor, an unfinished basement gives the department even more room to house its supplies and equipment.

"The basement was a pretty big expense, but the city thought it'd be beneficial for the future," Berggren said. "We didn't want to build something and then, 30 years from now, have them say it's not adequate. We wanted to build for the future."

Lindsborg EMS is staffed by 16 volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians. The department makes more than 500 runs per year, responding to calls within the city of Lindsborg and nearby rural areas.

"When we built the facility, we built it with the mindset that sometime in the future, we would be a full-time service," Berggren said.

For more information about Lindsborg EMS, call 785-227-2988 or send an email to lindsborgems@lindsborgcity.org.

Contact Patricia Middleton by email at pmiddleton@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her stories on Twitter at @MacSentinel.