Peoria Journal Star
December 12, 2004
Should Peoria Fire Department sell its only ambulance?
What will the city do with the one Peoria Fire Department ambulance that sits alone and unused? Will it be sold for something more important than saving people's lives?
In September, the Matrix Consulting Group evaluated Peoria's emergency medical services. Matrix reported that the fire department's average response time to life-threatening emergencies was almost two minutes faster than Advanced Medical Transport's. Since the fire department can only provide basic life support, patients frequently wait until AMT arrives for paramedic intervention.
One plan formulated by the consulting firm to improve service was to target certain areas with four non-transport fire department engines. These vehicles would be staffed by firefighter/paramedics who would provide advanced life support. The fire department has paramedics who could provide their expertise for these engines.
The problem is the two physicians who have controlled ambulances in Peoria for the last two decades don't support the fire department's advancing from basic life support service to advanced life support. Unfortunately, Peoria firefighter/paramedics are not allowed to use their paramedic skills at emergencies.
Matrix noted the fire department has applied to the physician in charge of ambulances to outfit its only engine with various basic and advanced life support medications and equipment. That request was denied.
The boards of directors of our local "health-care industry," and the doctors who have been responsible for ambulances in Peoria, need to disclose their private interests and explain why selling the one and only fire department ambulance is beneficial to sick and injured pre-hospital patients in Peoria.
Dr. John Carroll
My Comments today March 25, 2009:
1. Peoria Area EMS did not take the suggestions of Matrix. Peoria Fire Department firefighters/paramedics were not allowed to use their advanced skills saving lives.
2. The Peoria Fire Department sold their one and only ambulance.
3. It took until the middle of 2005 for change to occur.