Richmond, Illinois Fire Chief Booted from Paramedic Program

RICHMOND, IL -- Fire Chief Dave Rudolph's emergency medical technician license has been suspended for three months and he has been expelled from a paramedic training program, a Richmond fire official said Wednesday.

Rudolph filed many paramedic evaluation forms weeks after the corresponding ambulance runs occurred, said Rich Jacobson, president of the Richmond Township Fire Protection District. Rudolph was a paramedic student.

Students are required to have the forms signed by a paramedic on-duty within 72 hours of a call, and forms are to be submitted to the classroom instructor within 14 days of a call. Rudolph missed both deadlines with multiple forms, Jacobson said.

Rudolph declined comment when asked Tuesday about the EMS actions, and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Fourteen firefighters requested last week that the board dismiss Rudolph and paramedic Erin Arnold. Jacobson said Rudolph went on 347 of the 475 calls the department responded to last year.

"My opinion is he had a lot of patient contact by being on the scene," he said.

Jacobson said Emergency Medical Services suspended Rudolph's EMT license and expelled him from the paramedic program. The local EMS branch, operated out of Northern Illinois Medical Center in McHenry, is a division of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Cindy Amore, EMS manager and system services coordinator with McHenry County College, said she could not comment because of student confidentiality laws.

Jacobson said Rudolph turned in 19 evaluation forms by Oct. 31, but did not have the required number of hours by the Dec. 20 deadline because he had forgotten to submit paperwork.

Jacobson said Rudolph looked through the ambulance run records to determine which ones he had participated in and then asked the paramedic on duty to sign off on his forms.

Arnold had gone on the runs with Rudolph, and he asked her to fill out his forms, Jacobson said.

"I think EMS should have said something to Dave sooner about not having the right number of hours," Jacobson said.

EMS also suspended Arnold's paramedic license for two weeks because she signed the evaluation forms more than 72 hours after the ambulance runs occurred, Jacobson said.

Arnold could not be reached for comment.

At Tuesday's meeting, the fire board suspended Rudolph and Arnold for 30 days without pay for their roles in the incident. The EMS suspensions prohibit Arnold and Rudolph from assisting in any medical emergency. The fire board suspensions will remove them from active duty at the fire department for one week at a time on alternating weeks, with Rudolph's suspension starting Feb. 1 and Arnold's Feb. 8, Jacobson said.

Amore said any student removed from the paramedic training program can reapply.