1. #1
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    Default Ambulance Service Shuts Down!

    Ambulance service shut down

    Galva, Bishop Hill will rely on Kewanee and Galesburg


    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    By CAROL TOWNSEND

    The Register-Mail

    GALVA - The Galva-Bishop Hill Ambulance Service is out of service.
    The service shut down as of noon today due to lack of emergency medical technicians to fill shifts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    When residents of Galva and Bishop Hill call 911 the dispatcher will ask whether they would like an ambulance from Kewanee or Galesburg, according to Mayor Don Hagaman.

    "It will take 15 minutes from Kewanee and 30 minutes from Galesburg," Hagaman said Monday.

    The Illinois Department of Public Health requires two EMTs and a driver per shift. Galva had a waiver to operate with one EMT and a driver. City Administrator Dave Dyer said Monday that Galva has nine EMTs and four drivers on the volunteer service.

    "Galva's director Jim Coakley resigned as of last Wednesday," Hagaman said.

    Coakley said Monday night he resigned because of a "difference of policies between myself and the city of Galva."

    "This could have all been avoided if the city would have listened to what I said on Aug. 15," Coakley said.

    He said the service has been short covering shifts and had only one EMT who covered noon to 6 p.m. and she was the only EMT paid hourly. That EMT was offered a position that paid $80 more per week in another ambulance service. Coakley said he asked the council to pay the EMT more money so she would remain but the council would not match the other offer.

    "So, for $80 a week we would still have our service" Coakley said.

    Coakley started as a driver 17 years ago, drove the ambulance for one year and became a certified EMT 16 years ago. He was the director the past 10 years.

    He said the bylaws of the Galva Service require each EMT to sign up for four six-hour shifts per week which is 24 hours. Coakley said that is hard when some are required to work extra at regular jobs or have other responsibilities. That puts an extra load on other volunteers.

    EMTs and drivers were not paid for being on call.

    Coakley said EMT hopefuls must take a three-month class, a state exam and then do 120 hours of ride time with an ambulance before certification.

    Each EMT has to take 40 hours of training per year to keep state certification.

    Residents interested in being an EMT should contact City Hall for the next EMT class. Galva plans to restore its ambulance service as soon as possible.

    Residents who have a current EMT certificate are encouraged to sign up for the service, city officials said.

    The service's two ambulances will be locked in their garages until further notice.
    This service operated in a town that I called home for 23 years. I was born and raised there and it's a great little community of 2700 people.
    I hope that they find a solution.
    CR
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    Art i hope they figure something out quick cause it sure is going to be a long haul up there, we are running anywhere from 35-50 a shift and this is just going to add to the numbers. They are to good of a service to go out like this.

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    I have a question for those well versed in fire district law. I thought I read somewhere in the fire district act that a fire district is responsible for provided EMS service if such service is not available in the fire district. So in this case would the respective fire districts be responsible for providing EMS (or obtaining a contract provider)?

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    Interesting. Galva's problem has now become Kewanee and Galesburg's problem as well.
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    Nope mikey just galesburg's, kewanee doesn't have the manpower to cover them, its all us. I hope they can get back in service soon

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    I stand corrected. The political powers in Galva have made things hard on the entire region.
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    Default An answer to k3's question.... sort of.

    Found this little blurb near the end of the Fire District Act (emphasis is mine):

    (70 ILCS 705/22) (from Ch. 127 1/2, par. 38.5)
    Sec. 22. The Board of Trustees of any fire protection district incorporated under this Act is authorized under the terms and conditions hereinafter set out, to provide emergency ambulance service to or from points within or without the district; to contract with providers of ambulance service; to combine with other units of governments for the purpose of providing ambulance service; to levy a tax for the provision of such service and to adopt rules and regulations relating to ambulance service within their jurisdiction.
    (a) It is declared as a matter of public policy:
    (1) That, in order to preserve, protect and promotethe public health, safety and general welfare, adequate and continuing emergency ambulance service should be available to every citizen of Illinois;
    (2) That, insofar as it is economically feasible, emergency ambulance service should be provided by private enterprise; and
    (3) That, in the event adequate and continuing emergency ambulance services do not exist, fire protection districts should be authorized to provide, and shall cause to be provided, ambulance service as a public responsibility.
    Now, does that mean that state law requires FPD to operate EMS services in the absence of any other entity doing so? It depends on how you interpret #3 above. To me, the phrase, "... shall cause to be provided..." means that it is the FPD responsibility to provide EMS if it is not already provided by somebody else.

    Any lawyers out there?
    Last edited by jaybird210; 10-04-2005 at 05:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaybird210
    Now, does that mean that state law requires FPD to operate EMS services in the absence of any other entity doing so? It depends on how you interpret #3 above. To me, the phrase, "... shall cause to be provided..." means that it is the FPD responsibility to provide EMS if it is not already provided by somebody else.
    Thats how I read it too. Our fire district contracts out ambulance service to a local hospital ambulance. We have had the same contract with them since the 1970s. They provide us ambulance service in exchange for their right to bill patients that they transport. Its a win win situation for both of us. They are already based less than 2 miles from our district and our call volume (125 ambulance calls / 15 MVCs a year) doesn't require them to hire extra staff. We don't have an ambulance tax. I couldn't imagine having to all of a sudden pay someone for the service.

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    Default Same thing Up North

    I work for a department up north by the wisconsin boarder. we have tried to pass a tax referendom (Sorry for the spelling) 5 times, failed each time, and cannot pay for ambulance service. We sent a letter to IDPH saying as of May 1st, unless we can find money, we will not provide it anymore to the residents. we are a FPD, the state said okay. Surrounding cities wont do it, but the three privates will, with an ETA of 30 minutes to a few hours. As long as there is a private that says ok, or another city, that is another EMS, so the FPD does NOT have to cover it, despite the ETA to location.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PosseTK
    I work for a department up north by the wisconsin boarder. we have tried to pass a tax referendom (Sorry for the spelling) 5 times, failed each time, and cannot pay for ambulance service. We sent a letter to IDPH saying as of May 1st, unless we can find money, we will not provide it anymore to the residents. we are a FPD, the state said okay. Surrounding cities wont do it, but the three privates will, with an ETA of 30 minutes to a few hours. As long as there is a private that says ok, or another city, that is another EMS, so the FPD does NOT have to cover it, despite the ETA to location.
    Beach Park?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PosseTK
    I work for a department up north by the wisconsin boarder. we have tried to pass a tax referendom (Sorry for the spelling) 5 times, failed each time, and cannot pay for ambulance service. We sent a letter to IDPH saying as of May 1st, unless we can find money, we will not provide it anymore to the residents. we are a FPD, the state said okay. Surrounding cities wont do it, but the three privates will, with an ETA of 30 minutes to a few hours. As long as there is a private that says ok, or another city, that is another EMS, so the FPD does NOT have to cover it, despite the ETA to location.
    As long as someone else will take it.....
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    I have no idea how your state's FPD law works, but I interpret that to mean that they must atleast provide first response. It seems not many FPDs do that over there.

    At any rate, Galva is a helluva long way from Kewanee or Galesburg. I'm thinking they'd just be better off contracting with Med-Force HEMS to handle their transports...it'd be faster atleast! (I'm kidding of course)

    They seem to be having the same problem a little further to the south in Hancock County as well...specifically in Hamilton.

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    Galva has eighteen certified first responders. They are on the fire department. Unfortunately, they were certified through the ambulance service, so when the service shut down, first responders couldn't respond either. They are working to get them certified through the fire department.
    But here's what is crazy. The ambulance director was getting $166 a month plus runs to direct the service. The only paid person was offered another job, but would stay in Galva for $80 a week more. The city balked. Director resigned. Paid person took the other job. Ambulance service de-commissioned.
    Now; they want to hire a "first responder coordinator" for $1000 a month!
    The new city manager doesn't seem to be the sharpest tack in the box. I have known the mayor most of my life and I believe that he is truly a victim of some very bad advice.
    The mayor has given his heart and soul to that community. He raised his family there. He was involved in summer baseball, athletic boosters, Lion's Club, his church, and the Veteran's Park project. He screwed up. But he shouldn't be the object of threats.
    They will get fixed; hopefully, sooner than later.
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    Kewannee isnt really that far from galva. I drove a route for work this summer from galesburg to kewanee and its much farther from galesburg. At least that is the way it seemed to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by medicmaster
    I have no idea how your state's FPD law works, but I interpret that to mean that they must atleast provide first response. It seems not many FPDs do that over there.

    At any rate, Galva is a helluva long way from Kewanee or Galesburg. I'm thinking they'd just be better off contracting with Med-Force HEMS to handle their transports...it'd be faster atleast! (I'm kidding of course)

    They seem to be having the same problem a little further to the south in Hancock County as well...specifically in Hamilton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterox
    Kewannee isnt really that far from galva. I drove a route for work this summer from galesburg to kewanee and its much farther from galesburg. At least that is the way it seemed to me.
    I can make it to Kewanee from Galva in little under 10 minutes. That's driving the speed limit. There are many ways to get there. You can take the Galva/Atkinson blacktop to Page St. extension; you can take Rte. 34 to Midland Road; you can take Rte. 34 all the way to Kewanee.
    Galesburg would travel Rte 34 to Galva. It is at least 25 minutes to get to Galva from Galesburg.
    So; you have Kewanee at 10 miles. You have Galesburg at 27 miles.
    Galva City Council has agreed to pay people $8 an hour for their EMT training, plus pay for the training. Don't know if there are any strings attached. But it sounds like they're a ways from the 16 EMTs that the city feels that it needs to staff 24/7.
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    maybe its just me but doesnt 16 seem high?
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    How many calls a year does (did) this service respond to?

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    Quote Originally Posted by k3twpfire
    How many calls a year does (did) this service respond to?
    I'm guessing somewhere between 400 - 600 calls a year.
    Got more info from the local paper.
    Galva is going to man its ambulance with paid employees, offer them 30 hours a week so they don't have to pay benefits, would like to have 16 EMTs before they contact the state, to start up the service again. This will be done until a new group of volunteers are trained and ready to take back the ambulance service. If this doesn't happen, then they will contract it.
    If they can't get enough volunteer EMTs, they will run a first responder program.
    It's goofy crazy, but it might just work.
    We'll see.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    I can make it to Kewanee from Galva in little under 10 minutes. That's driving the speed limit. There are many ways to get there. You can take the Galva/Atkinson blacktop to Page St. extension; you can take Rte. 34 to Midland Road; you can take Rte. 34 all the way to Kewanee.
    Galesburg would travel Rte 34 to Galva. It is at least 25 minutes to get to Galva from Galesburg.
    So; you have Kewanee at 10 miles. You have Galesburg at 27 miles.
    Galva City Council has agreed to pay people $8 an hour for their EMT training, plus pay for the training. Don't know if there are any strings attached. But it sounds like they're a ways from the 16 EMTs that the city feels that it needs to staff 24/7.
    CR

    Still, 10 minutes is a long time to the person in cardiac arrest (provided there are no first responders). The people of Galva should expect better than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    Galva has eighteen certified first responders. They are on the fire department. Unfortunately, they were certified through the ambulance service, so when the service shut down, first responders couldn't respond either. They are working to get them certified through the fire department.
    But here's what is crazy. The ambulance director was getting $166 a month plus runs to direct the service. The only paid person was offered another job, but would stay in Galva for $80 a week more. The city balked. Director resigned. Paid person took the other job. Ambulance service de-commissioned.
    Now; they want to hire a "first responder coordinator" for $1000 a month!
    The new city manager doesn't seem to be the sharpest tack in the box. I have known the mayor most of my life and I believe that he is truly a victim of some very bad advice.
    The mayor has given his heart and soul to that community. He raised his family there. He was involved in summer baseball, athletic boosters, Lion's Club, his church, and the Veteran's Park project. He screwed up. But he shouldn't be the object of threats.
    They will get fixed; hopefully, sooner than later.
    CR

    The first responder certification is not a service provided certification. It is a state certification. Where you got the certification or who you got it through (ie. ambulance service) does not matter. All they need to do is contact IDPH and get the FPD certified to respond with first responders. We have many dept. in southern Illinois that do this. Check into it. All you have to do is get set up with the state and join an EMS region (resource hosp.) probably the same one the ambulance service used in that area. Contact the region EMS coordinator they can help you. It will only take a month or so to get the license from the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmed19
    The first responder certification is not a service provided certification. It is a state certification. Where you got the certification or who you got it through (ie. ambulance service) does not matter. All they need to do is contact IDPH and get the FPD certified to respond with first responders. We have many dept. in southern Illinois that do this. Check into it. All you have to do is get set up with the state and join an EMS region (resource hosp.) probably the same one the ambulance service used in that area. Contact the region EMS coordinator they can help you. It will only take a month or so to get the license from the state.
    I am told that they are in the process of doing that.
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    Default Update

    Galva Fire Department has been granted a first responder license by IDPH.
    As soon as they can provide a schedule that shows 24 hour coverage, they can start responding.
    GHAS will continue to provide ambulance service.
    Galva is pursuing two options to get local ambulance service back; training new EMTs or bringing in a private ambulance service.
    Either way, Galva wants to restore a local ambulance service as soon as possible.
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    I was just curious as to the current situation of ambulance service in Galva.

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    Last I knew, they couldn't get enough to hold an EMT class.
    Fire department is still sending first responders until GHAS from Galesburg can respond.
    Anyone from Galva lurking?
    Anyone?
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    its nice to see this is coming to light other places also. this is a big problem all over the state

    ems is a big part of the fire service and there needs to big some hard looks at consolidation and working to help fund and protect the little guy

    hopefully it works out and hopefully someone picks up on this and starts bangin the drum to the state and feds

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