Fire Department

15482 K Road, Mayetta, KS 66509 | P. 785-966-2164 | ONLINE BILL PAY



The mission of the Potawatomi Tribal Fire Department is to provide our community with the highest quality service for the protection of life and property. We dedicate ourselves to the principles of value-based leadership, teamwork, service, and sacrifice. Our fundamental purpose is to serve those in need with kindness, compassion, and the utmost professionalism.

2019 Pierce Ascendant 107′ Quint 650


The vision of the Potawatomi Tribal Fire Department is to support the Nation by providing sustainable and need-based fire, rescue, and emergency medical services to our community.  We are committed to the goal of value-added service whenever possible.  Through a proactive approach, we strive to position our department both financially and operationally to provide continuity of service while at the same time embracing change in a challenging fiscal environment.  We are innovative, adaptable, and responsive to the evolving needs of the Nation.  The Fire Department provides assurance that in an uncertain world, there is a certain future of quality emergency response, one built on our core values and joint efforts.

From the left, Paramedic Paul Juedes, Captain Eric Ganson, and Lieutenant Lance Wishkeno receiving 20-year service awards in January 2021.


Our department values technical proficiency, teamwork, and relationships.  We encourage education to further proficiency, open-mindedness to improve teamwork, and grace to strengthen relationships.  Our leadership comes both from the top-down and the bottom-up; leadership by example knows no rank.  Our employees are our greatest asset and every one of our fellow firefighters has unique abilities they bring to the team.  We believe inclusion and respect generate positive synergies which lead to outsized and outstanding results.  Customer service is a critical component of our work; accuracy, consistency, and responsibility form the basis of our daily operations.  We believe professionalism is practiced in the moment and a thousand such moments make a Professional.  We make adjustments, not excuses.

Service Awards December 2021 from left, Firefighter Andrew Naylor 10 Years & Captain George Wiecken 15 Years.


In support of our Mission and Vision we have the following inter-related goals:

  • Our most important goal, maintaining quality emergency response, is where we spend the vast majority of our time.
  • Our most costly goal is improving staffing; staffing is where we spend the majority of our budget dollars.
  • We strive to minimize our long-term capital and infrastructure costs to improve our sustainability and staffing levels.

At left Paramedic Jon Gwartney & Lt. Bruce Coates discuss incident command during training. At right EMT Grant Wewenis, EMT Josh Greenlee, Paramedic Mark Meinhardt, EMT Ronnie Sellens and EMT Josh Johnson with Rescue 682

Decision Making

We trust our firefighters to do the right thing. With every decision we ask the following questions:

We recognize that some decisions are not as simple as others and that not making a choice or failing to act are both still decisions with resulting consequences. We realize that in an imperfect world, not all goals can be supported by every decision and sometimes, we must prioritize certain goals at the expense of others. Our department encourages our team members to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons while accepting that sometimes they may be wrong. We recognize that by making decisions based on our Mission, Vision, and Values, our number of good decisions will far outweigh the bad ones.

Firefighter Josh Johnson and Paramedic Stacy Munoz at dry hydrant training in May 2023.

Operational Details

We respond to approximately 1500 calls for help each year including medical calls, grass fires, home health assists, and structure fires.  60% of our calls are medical in nature.  Our primary response area covers over 121 square miles of both suburban and rural areas including the Prairie Band Casino & Resort and the major facilities of the Prairie Band Nation. Our automatic mutual aid response area covers an additional 200 square miles of the surrounding jurisdictions.  Our firefighters spend a third of their life on duty helping the community.  Our motto is “We default to service” and no matter what the problem, we do our best to help those who call on us.

EMT Josh Johnson, Paramedic Kristen Radell, Lt. Lance Wishkeno, and Paramedic Paul Juedes at the 2018 Potawatomi Gathering at Prairie Peoples Park on August 7th providing Fire, Rescue, EMS and Public Assist standby services.

The fire department was founded in 1980 and began providing ambulance service in July of 2000. In addition to the emergency medical response provided within the local area, PBPN members or employees who live outside the Reservation boundaries may request the fire department ambulance for medically necessary non-emergency transports to a hospital or in-patient care facility located within the region. Ambulance fees for Tribal Members that are not paid by insurance are not charged to the Member. We work closely with our neighbors on fires and medical emergencies. We participate in an automatic mutual aid agreement with the Hoyt, Mayetta, and Delia Fire Departments. All four departments automatically respond together on various fire and emergency incidents within the 321 square miles of southern Jackson County.  This highly successful cooperative agreement ensures the closest help responds immediately and that emergency responders are simultaneously dispatched to calls regardless of jurisdiction. This example of neighbors helping neighbors benefits the entirety of southern Jackson County.


PTFD Firefighters attacking a propane fire during training provided by Kansas University Fire & Rescue Training Institute

During more than 40 years of serving the PBPN Reservation and citizens of Jackson County the Potawatomi Tribal Fire Department has become known for its excellence of service in both fire and EMS. We are the only full-time career fire department in the county and carry an Insurance Services Office Public Protection Classification (ISO-PPC) rating of 3/3x which is the best of any department in Jackson County.

2019 Quint 650 & 2022 Medic 693 Advanced Life Support Ambulance (twin to Medic 692)

Tribal Emergency Response Committee – TERC

Responsibilities of the Tribal Emergency Response Committee (TERC) include the development of PBPN emergency management plans, community preparedness, training, and education. The committee consists of the General Manager, Assistant General Manager(s), Fire Chief, Police Chief, Media Specialist, Land Planner, IT Manager, and the directors of Human Resources, the Health Center, Finance, Planning and Environmental Protection, Road & Bridge, Building Maintenance, and Construction Management.

Emergency Preparedness Resources:

Tornado and Weather Safety Tips

Brown Atchison Electric Outage Center

FreeState Electric Cooperative Outage Center

National Weather Service Topeka

Evergy Energy (Formerly Westar) Outage Map