Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division
History of the Emergency Medical Services Division
The Hanover Park Fire Department (formally known as Ontarioville Fire Protection District) has been the sole provider of emergency ambulances to the area since the 1940s. This service was upgraded in 1976 to the paramedic level, starting with four volunteer paramedics and one set of Advanced Life Support equipment.
Initial paramedic response was made from a small rescue squad with paramedics “jumping” to the ambulance when a patient required advanced life support care. As the demand for advanced level care grew, additional equipment was purchased and the paramedic services were moved to the department’s ambulances. Currently, the department operates three ambulances and three advance life support engines.
Paramedic & Emergency Medical Technician Training
Advanced Life Support services are designed to bring rapid emergency room care to the side of a patient struck with a sudden illness or injury. Paramedics are trained to conduct a comprehensive patient assessment and then treatments designed to stabilize a patient’s condition prior to and during transport to an emergency facility.
The road to paramedic certification begins with licensure as an Emergency Medical Technician – Basic. Emergency Medical Technicians undergo a six month training program covering the following topics:
- Ambulance Operations
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Assessment of the Medical Patient
- Basic Airway Management
- Behavioral Emergencies
- Bleeding and Shock
- Cardiac Emergencies
- Environmental Emergencies and Burns
- Lifting and Moving of Patients
- Medical Ethics and Legal Issues
- Obstetric and Gynecological Emergencies
- Patient Assessment
- Pediatric, Adolescent and Geriatric Care
- Poisoning and Overdose
- Respiratory Emergencies
- Scene Size-up
- Trauma to soft tissues, skeletal system, head and spine
After a minimum of six months as an EMT, application can be made to attend paramedic school which is an intensive 18-month program designed to teach advanced assessment and management skills. Education builds on what was learned as an EMT with students trained in the following areas:
- Advanced airway management including intubation, needle cricothyrotomy and surgical cricothyrotomy
- Care for the Cardiac Patient including EKG interpretation, Defibrillation, Cardioversion, Transcutaneous Cardiac Pacing
- Chest Decompression
- Comprehensive patient assessment
- Fluid and Electrolyte Balance including intravenous therapy
- Pulse Oximetry, End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide Monitoring, and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Hanover Park Paramedics work under the direction of Sherman Hospital as part of The Greater Elgin Mobile Intensive Care Program. Paramedics are required to attend 96-hours of continuing education every four years to maintain their license.