Archive for July 21st, 2022

McHenry Township Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District expects 7,400 calls for service in 2022, a 7.6% increase over 2021. Those higher numbers are on top of a 21% increase in overall ambulance calls over the past two years.

And much like the private sector, the fire service is seeing fewer applicants for open positions, longer lead times for equipment, and supply chain slowdowns. Fewer people wanting to become firefighters is part of the reason why, earlier this year, the fire district chose to begin adding full-time firefighters for the first time. The board of trustees voted in December to begin transitioning away from a mostly part-time staff, approving 12 full-time firefighter/paramedics.

In May, they approved another 12 full-time firefighters. They join other full-time office personnel, lieutenants, battalion chiefs, and 90 part-time firefighters rounding out the roster to cover each of the district’s five stations around the clock.

How to replace and staff its ambulances is the next question for the fire district, which covers Bull Valley, Johnsburg, Holiday Hills, Lakemoor, McCullom Lake, McHenry, Ringwood, portions of Wonder Lake and Island Lake, and unincorporated McHenry County.

The fire district requested and received a $361,000 grant from Advance McHenry County to purchase a sixth ambulance to help cover increased calls for service. Five others are on order, part of a seven-year rotation for the vehicles. Two may come in October, ahead of the previous date they had been given, and one in March 2023. Another two, ordered in July, won’t arrive until 2024. When the department does order the grant-funded ambulance, it expects an 18-month to two-year lead time.

Currently, the fire district has seven ambulances. Five active units are at the district’s fire stations and two are kept on standby – for special events and festivals, high call volumes and if one of the other five breaks down.

More ambulance calls are coming with longer transport times. The time it takes to transport a patient to a hospital and return can take from 30 minutes to more than an hour.

The district has taken other steps to help reduce those calls.

Falls, lift assists, and mental health evaluations are about a third of the total medical call volume. The district is doing educational programs on avoiding falls plus working with McHenry County social workers, giving input on how to reduce mental health ambulance calls.

COVID-19 changed the call volume, as well.

When the pandemic first hit in March 2020, ambulance calls dropped because patients didn’t want to go to the hospital. By the summer that changed. People who had delayed getting care started needing help. Since March 13, 2020, the district transported 769 people with COVID-19.

thanks Rob

Tags: ,

Midlothian Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa for #TBT:

For TBT- The Midlothian Fire Dept.’s Squad 8, a 1980 Dodge/Pierce 350/250 mini pumper.
Mike Summa; #FireTruck; #MikeSumma; #TBT; #MidlothianFD;

Mike Summa photo

Tags: , , , , ,