Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division
ALS Engine Fleet
New Life Saving Procedure
Premise Alert Program
Non-Emergency Ambulance Transport
Advances in Technology
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.
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:
- Medical Ethics and Legal Issues
- Scene Size-up
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Patient Assessment
- Basic Airway Management
- Assessment of the Medical Patient
- Respiratory Emergencies
- Cardiac Emergencies
- Pediatric, Adolescent and Geriatric Care
- Poisoning and Overdose
- Environmental Emergencies and Burns
- Behavioral Emergencies
- Obstetric and Gynecological Emergencies
- Bleeding and Shock
- Trauma to soft tissues, skeletal system, head and spine
- Lifting and Moving of Patients
- Ambulance Operations
- 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:
- Comprehensive patient assessment
- Advanced airway management including intubation, needle cricothyrotomy and surgical cricothyrotomy
- Pulse Oximetry, End-Tidal Carbon Dioxide Monitoring, and Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
- Fluid and Electrolyte Balance including intravenous therapy
- Chest Decompression
- Care for the Cardiac Patient including EKG interpretation, Defibrillation, Cardioversion, Transcutaneous Cardiac Pacing
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.
The Department operates a fleet of four Advanced Life Support Mobile Intensive Care Ambulances. One ambulance operates from Fire Station Number 1 and a second from Fire Station Number 2. The third unit is for non-emergency transport, while the fourth is used as a back-up. Pictured on the left is the ambulance fleet, including the Rehab unit.
New Life Saving Procedure - Therapeutic Hypothermia
Beginning September 2012, all Hanover Park Fire Department ambulances will carry equipment in order to begin therapeutic hypothermia resuscitation. For the last four years, area hospitals have been using hypothermic treatment when a patient who was in cardiac arrest regains a pulse. Hypothermia is defined as a body temperature below 95°. Studies have shown that the body recovers and heals better at lower temperatures. Now our paramedics can begin this treatment before they arrive at the hospital. The equipment added to the ambulances is called a Chillcore™ case, which keeps the I.V. fluids at a constant temperature of 39°F. The treatment begins after the return of spontaneous circulation is achieved; the crew then begins IV lines of chilled saline and places ice packs around the body in key areas. This controlled decline in body temperature after arrest has shown to provide a better outcome for the brain and other organs. In the future, similar treatment may be used for patients with suffering a spinal cord injury, cerebral vascular accident (stroke) or other traumatic injuries.
New Life Saving Equipment - LUCAS Autopulse Device
The LUCAS™ device is designed to provide uninterrupted chest compressions during cardiac arrest at a rate and depth recommended by the American Heart Association’s (AHA). This device has been proven to outperform medical personnel in achieving the AHA guidelines over the entire patient care episode. EMS provider safety is also improved by the use of the LUCAS™ device. Recent studies have shown up to 62% of back injuries may be related to CPR delivery. In addition, the use of mechanical CPR decreases the risks associated with performing CPR in the back of a moving ambulance. The first generation of the LUCAS™ device was used in Europe in 2002, with its use in America beginning in 2007. Hanover Park is the first EMS provider in our region to implement the LUCAS™ device.
New Life Saving Equipment - GlideScope
The Hanover Park Fire Department has recently introduced the GlideScope® for use when controlling a patient’s airway during an endotracheal intubation. Intubation is the action of placing a breathing tube into the trachea with the use of a laryngoscope. This equipment takes advantage of fiber-optic technology which allows for a video view of the patients airway during the procedure. GlideScope® equipment has become the equipment of choice for controlling a difficult airway. Fiber-optic laryngoscopy has become increasingly available to pre hospital providers and is becoming a standard of care in many EMS agencies across the nation; it is currently used in most operating rooms and emergency departments for its success rates with patients who are difficult to intubate. Current published studies show dramatic results for first time success when fiber-optic intubation equipment is used compared to the traditional method of direct laryngoscopy. The complete line of equipment will allow usage for all patients from a newborn to the adult. Incorporated into the software package with the device is the ability to photograph a still image or record video of the entire procedure, which provides a timeline of a successful intubation to be part of our electronic documentation in the patient care record. The Hanover Park Fire Department is the first provider in our region to introduce this technology into the pre-hospital setting.
Premise Alert Program
The State of Illinois passed the Premise Alert Act (430 ILCS 132) in 2009 which created a database available to all citizens to store information concerning special needs that would be available to emergency repsonders through their dispatch agency. Residents may complete a short form and mail or drop off the form at any fire or police station. The confidential information is then forwarded to DuPage Emergency Communications and then made available to emergency repsonders. This program can save valuable time in an emergency, can expedite treatment and help ensure accurate information is passed on to other caregivers. Click here for a Premise Alert Program form or visit DuComm at www.ducomm.org. For a complete text of the Premise Alert Program law click here.
Non-Emergency Ambulance Transports
As an enhancement to the services already offered by Hanover Park Fire Department the Department’s ambulances will now provide both emergency and non-emergency ambulance transport services.
Since the 1940’s the department has provided emergency ambulance service. In the mid 1970’s the department became one of the first in the State to upgrade treatment capabilities from the Emergency Medical Technician – Ambulance to Mobile Intensive Care Paramedics. The service again expanded in 2004 to begin providing paramedic level care from the Village’s Engine Companies and has most recently moved into the non-emergency arena.
Patients who are in a convalescent state frequently require stretcher transports as part of their overall care plan. These transports include the movement of patients between care facilities or their home for the purpose of diagnostic testing, specialized medical treatment procedures and rehabilitation services. Although these transports require an ambulance and skilled emergency medical technicians or paramedics, the transport is typically scheduled and is non-emergency in nature. Medicare and medical insurance regulations recognize that non-emergency ambulance transports are an integral part of a comprehensive patient care plan and reimburse for ambulance transport services that are deemed medically necessary and ordered by the patients attending physician.
The department's goal is to be the preferred non-emergency ambulance provider within the Village of Hanover Park by offering exceptional service and competitive pricing. The department offers both local and long distance transport service. Transports can be scheduled 24 hours per day by calling (630) 510-3860. For more information call (630) 823-5800.
ALS Engine Fleet
The department also has three paramedic equipped engines. One operates from Fire Station Number 1 and a second from Fire Station Number 2. The third is used as a reserve and can be staffed by off-duty personnel.
The Advanced Life Support Engines are designed to begin patient care prior to the arrival of an ambulance. Engine Company Paramedics are also used to assist the ambulance personnel with patient care.
|Paramedic units are equipped with cardiac monitors capable of reading the heart’s electrical currents as well as providing electric shocks to a heart that has stopped pumping blood. The monitors also have external pacemaker capabilities, will monitor blood pressures, blood oxygen saturations and exhaled carbon dioxide levels.
Early in 2013 a Stryker® Power-Load™ cot fastening system was installed with the arrival of our latest ambulance, Medic 381. The system supports the weight of the stretcher and patient while the Firefighter/Paramedics load and un-load the cot into the ambulance. The system is rated to lift a maximum of 700 lbs, this rating accounting for the weight of the cot, patient and all other portable medical equipment which is utilized during treatment. By supporting this weight the system is designed to improve patient as well as user safety. For patients, a potential “drop” is nearly eliminated. And for the users, a decrease on repeated spinal loading will drastically reduce the potential for a back injury. The department plans to outfit other ambulances in the fleet in the near future.
Each ambulance is also equipped with a folding “stair chair” for ease of moving patients up and down flights of stairs. This piece of equipment can also double as a second stretcher when needed.
|Patients involved in a fall or a motor vehicle accident are placed on a backboard, along with a neck brace and head immobilizer. This equipment is used to prevent further injuries to the neck or spine and is frequently used as a precaution until a patient can undergo an x-ray at the hospital to rule out a spinal injury.
Smaller backboards are carried to immobilize pediatric patients.
All ambulances and engines carry a portable suction unit to help protect the patient's airway from vomit, blood or secretions.
Advances in Technology
Since the inception of our paramedic program, numerous advances in equipment have been made. Originally, paramedics used a 25-pound radio to contact the physician located in the emergency room and to transmit the EKG they were seeing in the field. This radio has been replaced with a cell phone weighing less than 8 ounces.
In the past paramedics used the LifePak V to monitor a patient’s EKG and provides defibrillation when needed.
Current monitoring is accomplished with the LifePak XII which provides 12-Lead EKG, defibrillation, cardioversion, and serves as a cardiac pacemaker, will monitor blood pressures, blood oxygen saturations and exhaled carbon dioxide levels. The unit can also fax the patient’s EKG to the physician at the hospital via a cell phone.
The 12-Lead EKG, different than what was obtained in the past, gives a complete view of the heart’s electrical systems and can definitively identify a need for heart catherization immediately upon arrival at the emergency room.
Sherman Hospital, as the resource hospital, maintains all patient care records generated by the department. Questions regarding copies of a medical report should be addressed to Sherman Hospital EMS Office:
1425 North Randall Road
Elgin, IL 60123
Hanover Park has a comprehensive cost recovery ordinance which allows patients to be charged for emergency medical services. Costs are as follows:
- Basic Life Support No Transport $125
- Basic Life Support with Non-emergent Transport $500
- Basic Life Support with Emergency Transport $625
Any billing questions should be directed to
Andres Medical Billing
3323 N. Ridge Ave
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Phone (847) 577-8811
All patients receive a Notice of Privacy Practices form, either at time of treatment or mailed to their home address following the incident. For a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices form, click here.