UGYFD Paramedic Service Level January 2014

A significant change has taken place since the last newsletter regarding the level of rescue service your volunteer fire department provides. As of January 1st, the Union Grove – Yorkville Fire Department has moved to a Paramedic service. This means many of our members have completed well over 1,000 hours of instruction and skill practice to have greater knowledge, the ability to administer more medications and perform more procedures that we could in the past.

We have more emphasis on cardiac, respiratory and medical conditions that can have treatment begin on scene or as we transport to the hospital. Most patients will not notice any changes because we have always arrived promptly and transported you to the hospital providing what we could. Now we carry more drugs and have additional procedures available for us to perform as we diagnose your problem.

Should you have any questions concerning our move to this higher level of care please feel free to call the departments’ non-emergency number, 878-4181 and we will do our best to answer and explain.

It has been a long time since there has been anything written about our transport destinations when you have called 911. For the past 35 years, at least, we have transported our patients to hospitals in Racine, Kenosha and Burlington. Additional facilities have come to be and I would like to specifically identify the hospitals. In Kenosha we transport to United Hospitals System-Downtown (8th Ave,), Aurora Medical (75th Street) and United Hospitals System-St. Catherine’s (76th Street). In Racine it is Wheaton Franciscan Health Care-All Saints (Spring Street) and in Burlington to Aurora Memorial Hospital-Burlington (McHenry Street). With the opening of Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group in Franklin we have added this destination as well.

We do not transport to doctors offices, clinics or urgent care facilities. We respond to all 911 emergency calls believing these are potentially life threatening situations. Recently we have experienced an increase in people calling the emergency number to have someone come and help them get up (out of or into a chair, off a bed, off the floor). As an all volunteer group, not at the station, such requests brings members from their residence or work expecting to be responding for life threatening requests that needs transport to a hospital. Since the people calling for this do not have a medical problem, they are surprised when we question the need for our service. It is true many of these callers need help but not that which we provide. Further, with the continued requests, we are faced with a cost that needs to be passed on and so we are presently researching a fee for this lift assist service, which we do not believe most insurance companies will cover.

We know we want to help but this request truly taxes the health and safety of our members as well and we ask that if you continue to need this type of service that you seek the appropriate service to help you solve this continuing issue. Some possible help sources for you would be a private ambulance for non-life threatening transports, Racine County Human Services Department for elderly of disability help or even nursing services as advertised in the phone book.

In closing, please dial 911 for any emergency and we will provide fire and rescue help as professionally, quickly and as safely as we can.