The Rolling Meadows Fire Department EMS division serves a community of over 24,000 residents and a daytime population that more than doubles as people report to work at the businesses in our community. On-duty personnel respond from two stations with two, Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances supported by ALS engines equipped with rescue equipment and all necessary supplies to begin advanced life support care. This allows firefighters who arrive first on the scene to provide the same care that an ambulance would give prior to an ambulance arriving on scene. This can greatly increase the survival rate of patients in many medical emergencies. Due to the increase in number of EMS calls, the first unit on the scene may not always be an ambulance.
Additionally, off-duty personnel are called upon when needed to man our third, fully equipped ALS ambulance, that is in reserve status at our station on Meadow Drive. Long-standing Mutual Aid agreements with neighboring towns expedite responses to areas of our City which can be accessed quicker by their equipment and manpower.
We have noticed a trend of increasing call volume. The trend has been that 50 percent of our calls require the administration of ALS care to our patients. ALS care is rendered to people who have life-threatening injuries or illnesses. Forty-five percent of the calls were handled at the Basic Life Support (BLS) level. These are minor in comparison, but still require skilled care at the pre-hospital level. The remaining calls were either unfounded or service- type calls in nature. Overall, EMS calls account for roughly 60 percent of the total emergency calls responded to by the Fire Department.
All EMS personnel are fully trained as firefighters and are able to operate in that capacity as needed. On most fire calls at least one of our ambulances also responds to act as support personnel at these types of incidents.
The EMS Division continues to provide many services to City residents. Blood pressure screenings for residents and employees. Attendees and participants at special events, such as the July 4th celebrations and Rolling Meadows High School Football games, are protected by Paramedic crews who are on the scene during these activities.
Members of our department continue to work within the Northwest Community Hospital EMS System to improve patient care and customer service within the System. Members of our department are active on many hospital committees. Northwest Community Hospital EMS Advisory Board, Provider-Based Performance Improvement screener, and C.A.R.S. committee (to improve the computer-generated report-writing system we use for documentation of EMS calls) are but a few. Meetings of the EMS Coordinators and Chiefs groups are attended regularly. Remaining active in these committees helps to keep the NWCH EMS System at the cutting edge of the profession of providing the best emergency medical care to our residents and visitors.
The Rolling Meadows Fire Department EMS program continues to strive for ways to improve the services that we offer to the residents, visitors, and guests of our City.