Archive for March 13th, 2016

Increase in ambulance fees for area fire departments

Excerpts from the

Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance transport fees are set to increase from $500 to $650 for residents of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, and the North Maine Fire District as of May 1, based on a request from Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax that was shelved by the city council Monday night for an official vote at the April 18 meeting.

Wax explained in a recent memorandum to City Manager Mike Bartholomew that the Des Plaines Fire Dept. has not raised fees since spring 2011, despite annual increases in costs.

At that time, Des Plaines ambulance fees were established to be the same as those in Park Ridge and North Maine. These departments often provide backup for each other during large emergencies, so residents from all three communities receive resident rates from each department.

“It allows out-of-pocket costs to the patients to be waived in the same circumstances,” Wax said.

North Maine maintains a similar resident rate agreement with Niles, which has further agreements with Morton Grove and Skokie.

Wax said residents should have zero out-of–pocket expenses related to the fees. He added that the fee would be waived for those in the resident coverage area who do not have insurance.

In an annual survey of 107 ambulance transport fee rates in the Chicago metropolitan area, published by the Naperville Fire Dept. in November 2015, Des Plaines fees proved to be “below the average of the surveyed departments,” according to Wax.

Data from the survey shows that the average rate for BLS in the area is $643 while Des Plaines and its partner communities charge only $500.

Patients who need more complex care are split into two sections: Advanced Life Support Level 1 (ALS-1) and Advanced Life Support Level 2 (ALS-2). Fees for these services are currently $700 and $950 respectively in the Des Plaines area.

With the new fee rates, ALS-1 rates would go up to $800, while ALS-2 rates would stay the same, as well as the previously established $15 per-mile fee. According to the survey, average ALS-1 rates for the area are $807 and average ALS-2 rates come in at $960.

Non-resident fees for BLS are going up from $650 to $825, from $950 to $1,025 for ALS-1, and from $1,150 to $1,175 for ALS-2. These have also been changed to be more in line with the area average.

Altogether, new rates could generate an extra $87,000 in revenue for the city each year, according to Wax. He said that Des Plaines already receives $1.5 million annually, though that total does not cover the cost of ambulance services.

At Monday night’s meeting, aldermen expressed support for the fees. However, they chose to wait on an official vote until city councils and village boards from the other communities weigh in.

Park Ridge, North Maine, Niles, Morton Grove and Skokie must adopt the same fees due to their backup service agreements.

According to Wax, fire chiefs from the six communities have agreed to seek the increases.

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Box Alarm fire in Maywood, 2/24/16

This from Code Photography:

Here are some photos of the box alarm in Maywood a couple weeks ago at 320 S 10th St. I arrived late but got a few shots in.

-Code Photography
firefighter with hose

Code Photography

aftermath of house fire

Code Photography

firefighters in PPE

Code Photography

firefighters outside of house fire

Code Photography

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Streamwood quint for sale


Streamwood Quint 31 for sale - 1996 E-ONE quint.

Streamwood Quint 31 for sale – 1996 E-ONE quint.

Streamwood Quint 31 for sale - 1996 E-ONE quint.

Streamwood Quint 31 for sale – 1996 E-ONE quint.

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Hometown FD updates

From a reader:


Ford Explorer police interceptor

Hometown 4700

E-ONE Typhoon fire engine

Hometown Engine 466

E-ONE Typhoon fire engine

Hometown Engine 468

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