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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hospital returns, clad in canvas

BY BECCY TANNER
The Wichita Eagle

A khaki canvas field hospital opened its flaps Wednesday and began offering health care to the residents of Kiowa County.

The hospital -- nine tents joined by a common corridor -- has 25 beds. It has water, electricity and air conditioning.

Its first emergency patient arrived Wednesday. The hospital is equipped for just about any service a regular community hospital provides.

It is among the first businesses to reopen in Greensburg and will be operated by the 100 employees who staffed Kiowa County Memorial Hospital, which was severely damaged by the tornado that devastated the town May 4.

The opening is another step toward normalcy for the community, said Greensburg City Administrator Steve Hewitt.

"Every day gets better. Today is better than yesterday," he said.

The hospital is located on the north side of U.S. 54 across from the John Deere dealership, on the former site of the Faith Tabernacle Church.

The Expeditionary Medical Support System is based out of the Kansas Air National Guard 190th Air Refueling Wing in Topeka. It was deployed to help after Hurricane Katrina.

Wesley Medical Center sent six hospital beds to help equip the field hospital.

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