Archive for November 27th, 2019

North Riverside Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

On Nov. 18, even though the company’s proposal was the more expensive option, a majority of the North Riverside village board said they would vote in favor of extending a contract for another five years for paramedic services with Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI), which has provided paramedic services for the village for more than three decades.

But that extension was conditioned on the village administration pledging to explore the North Riverside Firefighters Union Local 2714 proposal to hire full-time and part-time paramedics in order to wean the village from its reliance on a private company.

Two of the paramedic proposals submitted to the village on Aug. 16 were from private firms, PSI and Metro Paramedic Services. Each submitted a proposal for a five-year contract, with Metro’s price coming in at $2,415,441, compared to PSI’s $2,530,200.

North Riverside Firefighters Union 2714 also submitted a proposal to staff the village ambulances with part-time paramedics, but the proposal didn’t meet the requirements of the village’s request.

A quick calculation performed by the village’s fire chief, but not submitted to the administration prior to Nov. 18, indicated such a proposal could cost an estimated $2.1 million over five years, but the finance director said she couldn’t vouch for the figures.

The union’s proposal was inspired by the Village of Bensenville’s solution for paramedic staffing, employing in-house full- and part-time paramedics. Two trustees said that option was worth exploring after visiting the Bensenville Fire Department to get more information.

With only three paramedics assigned full time by PSI to North Riverside, and with PSI’s contract extension twisting in the wind, Fire Chief John Kiser said it was becoming difficult to convince contract paramedics to commit to being assigned permanently to North Riverside. While the village’s ambulance is fully staffed each shift, the turnover in personnel on those shifts is enormous. He also suggested extending PSI’s contract at this time to avoid a change that could result in an all-new crew of paramedics being assigned to North Riverside.

Two trustees opposed extending PSI’s contract, with one proposing to throw out the proposals the village accepted in August and seek new ones, even though PSI’s latest proposal represents a decrease in the fee the village now pays. He said that by rejecting the proposals and seeking new ones, the companies would get the message that they need to be more competitive. In fiscal year 2019-20, North Riverside budgeted $523,000 for paramedic services. Over five years, such a fee would equate to $2,615,000.

The village board will formally vote to extend the contract with PSI at its meeting on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber of the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave.

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Chicago Fire Department news

Excerpts from

Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) is investigating an incident involving a stroke victim’s call to 911.

If you need an address you can more than likely find it on your smartphone in the time it takes for you to read this paragraph. But NBC 5 has learned that emergency dispatchers in Chicago do not have ready access to smart phones or other basic map resources if someone calling from a cell phone is unable to provide a numerical address.

The OEMC is currently investigating an October 2nd incident involving a stroke victim’s calls to 911 in which two dispatchers told him they could not send an ambulance without an address, even though the man repeatedly provided the name of his hotel.

Duane Raible of Pennsylvania called 911 from his cell phone and told the dispatchers that his face was numb, he was dizzy and that he was at the Thompson Chicago Hotel. But the dispatchers insisted that he provide an address He could not reach the hotel room phone, but eventually used Siri on his smart phone to locate the address and relay it to a 911 dispatcher. It took nearly ten minutes from the time he first called 911 to the time an ambulance was sent.

Paramedics eventually arrived and took him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a major stroke in his brain stem.

NBC 5 asked OEMC if dispatchers can use a cellphone to look up an address. OEMC’s answer: “No.”

NBC 5 also asked OEMC if it has access to internet-based map systems, a city directory, a hotel directory, or the Yellow pages. “We are looking at additional ways to provide additional sources in which to obtain locations from callers,” the agency said.

OEMC said it does have internet-accessible computers in their offices – just not on dispatchers’ desks.

A spokesperson said OEMC is committed to providing the best possible service to 911 callers and is working on ways in which to do so, including updating procedures, protocols and technology.

thanks Ron

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