Monday, December 4, 2006

Peoria Heights Fire Department

The Journal Star has an article today regarding the Peoria Heights Fire Department.

The main theme in the article concerned paying the volunteer EMT’s who work for the Peoria Heights Fire Department.

However, interesting concepts were brought up in the article that reflects what is happening in Peoria. The people in Peoria Heights have obviously been following the unfortunate events in Peoria with the Peoria Fire Department during the last 15 years.

Wayne Baum, one of the Peoria Heights trustees, would like to see AMT provide the service for Peoria Heights. Mr. Baum states, “ My concern is not what you can do, but what you can’t do”. He was explaining how AMT can administer a number of drugs and do procedures that Peoria Heights Fire Department, a basic level provider, can’t offer. Thus, I would assume that Mr. Baum would believe that the Peoria Fire Department is offering an inferior quality of service too.

Interestingly, Chief Reichert responded by saying that the Peoria Heights ambulance service can upgrade its level of service. By this Chief Reichert meant that the Peoria Heights department can go to Intermediate or Advanced life support. Chief Reichert is well aware that in order to upgrade their service, this would have to be done with the blessing of the Project Medical Director who is a physician and is employed at OSF and is controlled by OSF. OSF is AMT’s biggest local supporter and would love to see AMT have the mandate to monopolize the Peoria Heights pre hospital care as it has in Peoria.

Chief Reichert is well aware that the Peoria Fire Department, which takes over 10,000 medical EMS calls each year has been held at basic life support with defibrillation and basic drugs for many years. Chief Reichert is also aware that the Peoria Fire Department is present at the scene quicker than AMT much of the time for serious medical emergencies, can only provide basic service, and cannot transport the patient. Chief Reichert knows that the Peoria Fire Department was forced into selling their only ambulance several years ago and he does not want Peoria Heights put into the same unfortunate situation as Peoria by AMT and the wealthy supporters of AMT.

Chief Reichert wisely states,” Having our own service ensures a quick response.”

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