Archive for November 13th, 2015

Rockford firefighters and area nurses perform home visits (more)

Excerpts from

A pilot program that teamed the Rockford Fire Department with SwedishAmerican Hospital to reduce the number of times “superusers” ride an ambulance to the emergency room was successful this year, b how to fund an expansion of the program remains unclear.

Eight of SwedishAmerican’s estimated 380 patients who use the emergency department more than 10 times per year and often visit dozens of times were chosen to participate. Nurses and fire personnel conducted health and safety check home visits during the first half of the year, significantly cutting the number of times the patients wound up in the ER, said Dr. Kathleen Kelly, the chief clinical integration officer for SwedishAmerican.

Called the Mobile Integrated Healthcare pilot program, it involved just a fraction of the number of patients who are using, and in some cases abusing, ambulance services in Rockford. The goal was to reduce the number of avoidable ER visits and ambulance rides while improving the health of the eight participants.

“After our intervention where our team made proactive home visits to our patients to try to understand what the triggers were for coming to the emergency department, they were able to reduce the (emergency department) and ambulance transfers by a significant amount,” Kelly said.

Officials said an expansion of the program, which could involve funding and cooperation from all three major health systems in the region, would be effective. And the results match what has been seen in other places across the country that have implemented mobile health care programs.

The eight patients chosen for the pilot program visited the SwedishAmerican Hospital emergency room a combined 65 times the first six months of 2014. With assistance from home visits, the number of their ER trips dropped to 30 in the same time period this year, a 54 percent reduction.  In addition, they took 30 ambulance rides in the first half of 2015, a 38 percent reduction from the 48 rides they took in the first half of 2014.

All have complex medical conditions requiring treatment with medications. But much of the time, a visit to the primary care physician would be a better use of resources and provide improved health results, Kelly said.

They are often living in poverty or have low incomes and might not have access to resources or transportation. Just providing the patients with a phone number to reach nurses who could answer their questions prevented many calls to 911, Kelly said.


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New tower ladders for Chicago (more)

Updated production photos of the new tower ladders being built by E-ONE for Chicago

fire truck being built

E-ONE photo

fire truck being built

E-ONE photo

fire truck being built

E-ONE photo

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3-Alarm fire in McHenry, 11/11/15

This from Tyler Tobolt:

Few photos I took at the McHenry Township 3rd Alarm on Tender Box 5-1274 for the house fire on (11/11/15). Fully engulfed home due to a lightning strike.
– Thanks Tyler Tobolt.
night house fire scene

Tyler Tobolt photo

night house fire scene

Tyler Tobolt photo

night house fire scene

Tyler Tobolt photo

Excerpts from the

A lightning strike might have caused a fire that destroyed a McHenry home, but fire officials said it was other elements that kept them at the scene of the blaze until about 12:30 a.m. Thursday

McHenry Township Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Mike Majercik said crews had to call in tankers to bring  water to the two-story home at 607 Silver Glen Road because the area does not have fire hydrants. That, paired with the high winds blowing as firefighters tried to extinguish the blaze made for a difficult battle.

“The fact that it was so windy and the fact that we didn’t have water really let the fire get a jump on us,” Majercik said.

McHenry Fire struck a Box alarm about 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, and by 10 p.m. flames were still seen coming from the two-story structure. Lt. Mike Kempster said the lingering flames were from a gas main that hadn’t been shut off. Nicor arrived about 10:30 p.m., Kempster said. Firefighters reported having the fire under control within 90 minutes.

Winds were gusting up to 35 mph when the fire started and by the time firefighters left the scene about 1 a.m., gusts were approaching to 40 mph.

The fire completely destroyed the house. He estimated the damage to be $450,000 when considering the house and all its contents.

Firefighters have not officially ruled the lightning strike as the cause of the fire, but Majercik said the homeowners reported hearing a loud sound on the roof before a neighbor called to say the roof was on fire.

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