Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Dear Peorians,

Just wanted to let you know that EMS in Peoria is confusing. The only thing that is straightforward is understanding the conflict of interest involved in pre-hospital care.

Now, most people do NOT know the following:

If you suffer a medical problem in the area covered by R1 (main fire house in Peoria), you or your family member or your friend, calls 911. When R1 arrives at your side, which is usually faster than AMT arrives at your side, R1 can only give you Basic Life Support. They cannot give you Advanced Life Support even if R1 has Paramedics working for them and have the knowledge base and the ability to help you. The PFD Paramedic can’t even start an IV. They cannot give you medication. They can only give you Basic Life Support. They have a great knowledge base but they are not allowed to offer advanced life support skills that they have. You must wait for AMT and their paramedic to arrive. Then, and only then, can the PFD Paramedic help you. And this, in turn, helps the AMT medic.

Does this make sense to you? Not really?

Let me tell you something. People's lives in Peoria are being risked every day in medical scenarios where the PFD and their Paramedics are restricted from caring for you. And during the last 15 years, I am aware of many precarious medical situations that have happened after 911 was called.

There is a lot of fear in Peoria about this. AMT has many businesses supporting them. People in Peoria are afraid to like or share a post like this. They do not want to lose their jobs. Rich people do not want anything to change. Poor people are just getting through the day and can’t take on another battle. So both rich and poor are silent on this issue for completely different reasons.

Bishop Daniel Jenky is aware of the problem. The Sisters at OSF are aware of the problem. They will do nothing to improve the prognosis of the 911 patient in Peoria. Trust me. The ethics committees will bury their heads in the sand. The majority of Peoria medical community will stay quiet. Nothing will change until the politicians legislate for improvement in Peoria’s EMS. Or there is a lawsuit.

Please consider the following: Engine 4 is located on the South Side of Peoria. It has been a Paramedic Engine since 2013. During the last 11 months, Engine 4 responded to 2,140 EMS calls. Yes, you read that correctly. And during October and November 2016, just two months, Engine 4 Paramedics provided 49 Advanced Life Support interventions. Yes, you read that correctly also. So, do you think the South Side of Peoria is better off with Engine 4 staffed by Paramedic/Firefighters since 2013? Remember, that for many many years our leaders told us that it was NOT necessary for Engine 4 to advance to Paramedic. Wonder what they say now?

I think it is way past time to listen to the PFD. It is way past time to listen to Rick Waldron who has been a firefighter-paramedic for greater than 10 years working at ground zero in Peoria regarding EMS calls. 

At the scene of an accident, multiple firefighter-paramedics are often needed to extricate and give advanced life support care. This is not hard to understand. When Peoria has a shooting or multiple shootings, multiple paramedics are needed. This is not hard to understand either. 

And at a house fire where there are flames, smoke, and people with smoke inhalation and burns, potentially with superimposed chronic medical problems, there is only one agency to call in Peoria to handle all of these problems—the PFD. This is not hard to understand either.

Peoria needs to wake up before even more lives are lost due to a corrupt and inefficient Peoria Area EMS.

John A. Carroll, MD


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