Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Park Ridge Fire Department responded to 5,187 calls in 2018 — a new record. They responded to 370 more calls last year than in 2017. According to the fire department’s 2018 annual report, of the 5,187 total calls, 3,156 of them were for EMS services. Health care facilities count for about 13 percent of the department’s annual ambulance calls which have been steadily increasing for years. Two additional firefighter/paramedic positions were added in late 2017 to help address the rising number of calls. Contributing to the increase in calls for patient transports to the hospital is the number of nursing and senior facilities in Park Ridge.

The fire department has met with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital officials to map out the types of calls that warrant a response from paramedics and those that can — and should — be addressed by hospital staff. Emergencies within some buildings on the campus can be handled by hospital staff. Incidents that occur outside, however, may require an ambulance to respond because the hospital may not have the appropriate equipment to get the individual to the emergency room.

Through talks with the hospital, EMS calls to the campus fell by half during some months last year, but call volume overall did not decrease due to things like alarms or issues related to construction projects. Hospital staff is working with the fire department to reduce the use of department resources.