Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The best way to fill what Elmhurst officials see as a small gap in the city’s emergency medical response ability is to contract for one additional certified paramedic in a rapid response vehicle, the Public Affairs and Safety Committee agreed.

The rapid response vehicle was one of three options Fire Chief Thomas Freeman presented to the committee. That option offered flexibility, since it could be set up on either a 12-hour or 24-hour shift. The city has contracted with Metro Paramedic Services for decades and Freeman said city could add the rapid response vehicle and one paramedic on a 24-hour shift for about $165,000 a year.

Naperville is the only community in DuPage County to try the approach, and has had success.

The rapid response vehicle would not be subject to mutual aid agreements with other towns.

Most calls for emergency medical services are now handled by one of two ambulances, each staffed by two certified paramedics.

Geoff Gaebel, an Elmhurst resident and firefighter in another town who has been persistent in calling for additional paramedic staffing, told committee members “One rapid response vehicle means one side of town is uncovered. An ALS (fire) company could cost significantly less than rapid response. I hope there’s some reconsideration or additional consideration at the council meeting.”

The unanimous recommendation from the committee will go to the city council for action at its next meeting on Monday, April 3. If the plan is approved there it could be implemented with a staffed vehicle in place by June or July.

thanks Scott