Posts Tagged Antioch Fire Department to provide EMS to village residents

Antioch makes cuts to fund EMS

Excerpts from the Lake County News-Sun about Antioch EMS costs requiring budget cuts throughout the village.

The cost of funding emergency ambulance services in Antioch without dedicated tax revenue has resulted in deep budget cuts across the village’s departments, services and programs.

On the public safety side, trustees agreed to reduce police overtime spending by $50,000 and the fire department will close its station on Grass Lake Road, officials said. Downsizing to two fire stations is projected to save Antioch $87,900, officials said.

In addition to putting all road improvement projects and equipment purchases on hold, the budget cuts will take $24,450 from the Public Works Department, $8,865 from the clerk’s office, $38,470 from community development and $1,200 from finance. The Village Board also removed $50,000 from the budget that previously was granted to the senior center.

According to village leaders, the budget cuts are directly tied to voters rejecting a referendum in November that would have set an ambulance tax.

“There’s only so much money coming in,” Antioch Mayor Lawrence Hanson said. [He] explained that the village and the First Fire Protection District are trying to make up for the $1.5 million it costs annually for ambulance services in the village and unincorporated areas.

Another tax request referendum is planned for April and village leaders are prepared to cut another $92,410 if that measure fails. Hanson said those savings would come from administration, police, community development and finance departments. Another $100,000 will be saved by cutting employees, he said. There were 103 village employees (in 2009). Now there are 67.

Hanson said the village had a $2 million deficit when he took over as mayor in 2009. Since then, he said, the Village Board has been focused on bringing spending and revenues in line.

But that was before the village was hit by the added cost for ambulance services, created when the Antioch Rescue Squad folded.

The Fire Department previously staffed 11 firefighters on duty at all times. The cuts will reduce that number to eight — four manning each station — in covering the 36-square-mile service area.

thanks Dan

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Antioch loses bid for ambulance tax

The Daily Herald has an article about the ballot initiative for an ambulance tax in Antioch:

Voter denial Tuesday of ballot questions to establish a tax for ambulance service has officials in Antioch and Antioch Township scrambling to determine what’s next.

Immediate changes aren’t envisioned but service cuts translating to longer response times are possibilities in coming weeks or months as village and First Fire Protection District leaders explore options for continued operations. Whether voters should be asked again for support next spring is another tough question to be answered as the weight of a $2.7 million annual budget strains other areas.

“Antioch has been a cultural anomaly to have a core service that was not funded in any way by tax money. People are astounded by that fact,” Village Administrator James Keim said. “That is now a service the governments and entities that exist have to provide and there is a void in funding. It’s not easily understood.”

Voters in the village and in Antioch Township defeated questions to establish a property tax to provide ambulance service to about 27,000 residents. The measure would have raised an estimated $1.5 million the first year and cost the owner of a property valued at $100,000 an additional $835. Unofficial figures showed voters opposed the measure 2,139 to 1,925 in the village and 2,018 to 1,417 in the township.

Ambulance service for fire or rescue calls in the Antioch area since 1938 had been provided by the Antioch Rescue Squad, a nonprofit group funded by fees and donations. That changed in May when the fire protection district of Antioch did not renew the contract and decided to consolidate operations in the village and township under the Antioch Fire Department.

The Antioch Fire Department uses part-time paid-on-call firefighters and contracts for paramedic service. The department and fire district share three stations and equipment. Costs are split by the village through its general fund, which covers a variety of day-to-day operations, and the fire protection district through its cash reserves. While each entity can tax for fire operations, they need voter approval to do so for emergency medical services, which are the measures that failed, Antioch Fire Chief John Nixon said.

Operations had been expanded at the third fire station to improve response time, according to Nixon. The goal was to make that permanent and have three fully-staffed stations to cover a 36-square-mile area. But that may not be possible.

The village is in an unsustainable mode regarding revenues and overall services it provides, Keim said.

thanks Dan

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Antioch Fire Department assumes full EMS for district

The Daily Herald has an article about the Antioch Fire Department initiating EMS for the town and unincorporated areas of Antioch:

For the first time since 1938, the Antioch Rescue Squad (ARS) is not contracted to provide ambulance service on fire or rescue calls in the Antioch area.

The contract between the controversial volunteer rescue squad and the First Fire Protection District of Antioch ended at 5 a.m. Friday, officials said. Ambulance calls for all 27,000 residents in Antioch and Antioch Township were switched to the Antioch Fire Department, officials said.

“We had an extremely peaceful transition at 5 a.m. and have now established ourselves throughout the district,” Fire Chief John Nixon said. “The crews are hard at work moving into fire station 3 (on Grass Lake Road), and 11 fire department employees are staffed at the three fire station buildings.”

Nixon said required fire service computer programs were uploaded to dispatch centers and ambulances to make for a smooth transition. He said people in need should not see any change in the calls.

The change in service came after the First Fire Protection District of Antioch decided this year not to renew its contract with the Antioch Rescue Squad in order to consolidate fire and rescue services in the village and township under one fire department. The village made a similar decision one year earlier.

ARS President Todd Thommes said the rescue squad is reviewing its options. “We do not have a future plan in place right now,” he said. “I wish I could say what the future is, but as of right now, we just don’t know. We still need to sit down and go over all of that.”

thanks Dan

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Antioch FD to provide EMS in the village (update)

The Lake County News-Sun has an article about the Village of Antioch extending their contract for EMS with Superior.

ANTIOCH — The village will continue to contract with Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service for 90 more days, extending the initial contract made six months ago when the village terminated its 72-year relationship with the not-for-profit Antioch Rescue Squad.

“We are providing better service to our residents, cutting response time by 15 to 20 seconds,” said Antioch Fire Chief John Nixon. “Under the direction of the fire department, Superior has performed extremely well. We are providing enhanced level of care with our advanced life support engines answering each call with the ambulance. This means that we are sending at least four paramedics and EMTs to every call. Having that kind of response is crucial to dealing with the patient, talking to the family and taking a health history at the same time we are administering care.”

“We have made a transition of EMS services under battlefield conditions and so far, so good. I don’t see us going back to ARS,” said Trustee Dennis Crosby. “The value is being transparent and handling our own destiny,” he said, referring to the ARS policy of not sharing its policies, procedures and revenues with the public. “If we are providing better life-saving service to our residents, it is all worth the time and effort.”

After 90 days, the village will transition to using village-owned ambulances. “We have two fully-equipped ambulances with a third to be purchased and equipped at a future date as back-up,” said Nixon. “The plan is to get the first two ambulances to pass state inspection and get them on the street within the next 90 days.”

A new agreement will be negotiated with Superior or another provider for personnel to staff the ambulances that are housed at Station 1 downtown and Station 2 on Deep Lake Road.

In the first four months that the village has contracted with Superior Ambulance service, the ambulance company responded to 416 calls. The fire department responded to 226 fire calls, doubling village-provided life-safety services, said Nixon, who projects an annual increase from 1,000 fire calls to a combined total of 2,300 fire and EMS calls.

While fire services cost the village $585,000 annually, EMS personnel adds another $818,000 to personnel cost for 12 full-time paramedics with an additional $53,000 annually for each leased ambulance. “We will save $106,000 annually by eliminating the leased ambulances,” said Nixon.

The reason fire personnel costs are lower is that the department only has one full-time employee, Fire Chief Nixon, otherwise utilizing part-time paid, on-call firefighters. “Remember, this is just the village’s portion of the cost for fire services. The actual cost for fire protection is more than $1 million because we share them equally with the First Fire District.”

The village is working with the township, served by the First Fire Protection District, to work out a joint agreement to provide fire and rescue services. Historically the village has shared costs with the fire district for fire protection but each entity has been separately responsible for providing rescue service. The township is continuing to contract with ARS for rescue calls in the township.

The original contract was for 180 days.

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New/used ambulance for Antioch FD

The Antioch Fire Department recently purchased an ambulance from the Winnetka Fire Department.

Antioch Fire Department

Antioch Ambulance 211R is a 2000 Freightliner FL60/Medtec Type I formerly owned by the Winnetka Fire Department. This is housed at Antioch Station 2. Jeff Rudolph photo


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Antioch Fire Department to provide EMS in the village (more)

Recent posts have followed the decision of the Village of Antioch to obtain EMS from the fire department instead of the Antioch Rescue Squad.

Jeff Rudolph submitted this image of an ambulance in one of the fire stations.

Antioch fire has contracted to Superior for medics. This is what they're running
Antioch Fire Department to provide EMS

Superior Ambulacne in the Antioch fire station. Jeff Rudolph photo

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Antioch Village warns Antioch Rescue Squad

The Daily Herald has an article about the Village of Antioch and the Antioch Rescue Squad

The contentious relationship between Antioch officials and the Antioch Rescue Squad has flared, with the village threatening a lawsuit over advertised services it says created a potentially dangerous situation.

The village notified state authorities and issued a cease-and-desist order after learning of the flier, which it says was distributed last week to an unknown number of people including seniors and disabled citizens.

In the flier, ARS claimed to be able to provide emergency medical services within the village, and residents were directed to call a 10-digit number with the promise a 911 dispatcher would send an ambulance.

The rescue squad is composed of volunteers that for 73 years had provided emergency services within the village, but that relationship ended June 1. The village now contracts with Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service for emergency rescue service in town. The Antioch Rescue Squad provides emergency services only in unincorporated areas in Antioch Township.

According to the rescue squad, no more than 30 copies of the flier were set on a table at the Antioch Township center. Remaining fliers were removed after the village alerted the squad, although 21 fliers could not be collected.

Even if the two-call system worked, according to village officials, several dangerous situations could arise, including a delay that could cost lives and no chance of finding the caller if there is a hang-up or dropped call.

Citizens should call 911 in an emergency, Mayor Lawrence Hanson said Tuesday in a statement.

In a letter Tuesday to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the rescue squad explained its actions, saying it had tried to establish a system for nonemergency care of village residents,

The squad acknowledged it mistakenly said it could provide emergency care in the village, which is not the case. It also said the directive that a 911 dispatcher would send an ambulance was a misstatement, as the contract with a 911 dispatch agency had not been finalized.

Arrangements have been made for calls to the 10-digit number to be forwarded to 911 for proper handling, according to the village.

The rescue squad says it does not collect tax money and provides its service for free. Village officials say taxpayers contributed an estimated $70,000 to $80,000 per year in fuel, rent, dispatch and other services.

Previous articles about the relationship between the village and the rescue squad can be found HERE and HERE.

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Antioch FD to provide EMS in the village (update)

The Chicago Sun-Times has an article about the new EMS services beginning today in the village of Antioch:

Beginning June 1, Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Services will provide emergency medical services for village residents, providing two Advance Life Support (ALS) ambulances staffed daily around the clock from the two village fire stations.

Village officials have agreed to contract with the private ambulance service company for 180 days after the current contract with Antioch Rescue Squad, the village’s EMS provider for the last 72 years, expires at 11:59 pm May 31.

A link to the complete article is HERE.

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Antioch Fire Department to provide EMS in the village

The following announcement was posted to the Antioch Fire Department website:

By Fire Chief John Nixon

May 24, 2013

The Village of Antioch voted at a special board meeting on May 23rd to begin providing ambulance services to the residents of the village directly under the direction of the Antioch Fire Department. Superior Air Ground Ambulance Service, Inc. was awarded a six month contract to provide two fully equipped ambulances and four on-duty fire and EMS personnel beginning June 1st. This action was necessary as a result of the sudden departure by the village’s former EMS provider, the Antioch Rescue Squad. At the May 20th village board meeting ARS declined an offer from the village board to extend their contract to serve village residents and businesses for another six months. Antioch Fire Department will now be the responsible agency for delivery of fire and paramedics services to the community. In addition to the already equipped ALS Engines, fire department ambulances will be placed at fire station 1 on Holbek Drive and fire station 2 on Deep Lake Road to serve village residents.

new ambulance for the Antioch Fire Department

Antioch Fire Department photo

Here is the previous article about the departure of the Antioch Rescue Squad.

thanks Jeff

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