The Elmhurst City Council, at their meeting on April 3, approved the addition of a Rapid Response Advanced Life Support (ALS) Unit to the Elmhurst Fire Department resources.
This subject has been under review and discussion for the past several weeks by the Public Affairs and Safety Committee, which met on February 13 and 27, 2017 and March 13 and 23, 2017. The committee was asked to consider the referral from Alderman Chris Healy and Alderman Marti Deuter regarding the evaluation of Emergency Medical Services for the City of Elmhurst and to determine an acceptable level of providing care within necessary timeframes to deliver the best patient outcomes.
For over four decades the use of contract paramedics has proven to be an efficient and effective way to deliver Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to the community. However, an increase over time in EMS calls in the City of Elmhurst has created a different set of service level demands. The rising number of medical calls has created a much greater need for additional trained paramedics, which is often difficult in a department of Elmhurst’s size. In the last five years, the City has seen a 15% increase for EMS calls for service while the corresponding calls for fire service have been relatively flat. The Public Affairs & Safety Committee reviewed detailed information on a specific area of calls including those calls where an engine arrives before an ambulance, when mutual aid is not involved. There were 112 calls (or 4.9% of total calls) of this nature.
Chief Freeman presented the Committee with three options for accommodating this need: the addition of a third ambulance, Advanced Life Support (ALS) Non-Transport Assist Apparatus and/or a Rapid Response ALS Unit. Staff’s recommended option was the Rapid Response ALS Unit because it is the most flexible and cost effective option. The Committee concurred