THE CENTRAL STICKNEY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT IS COMMITTED TO DELIVERING PROMPT AND PROFESSIONAL EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE TO THE RESIDENTS AND VISITORS IN OUR COMMUNITY.
The Central Stickney Fire Protection District operates in the IDPH Region 8 and within the Loyola EMS System.
Our EMS division consists of Paramedics and EMTs. These are highly trained medical personnel armed with the latest medical equipment available, making them a virtual emergency room on wheels. These pre-hospital professionals keep their skills sharp by attending monthly continuing education classes sponsored by Loyola Hospital.
We currently operate one ALS ambulance (Advanced Life Support). The ALS ambulance (staffed 24 hours a day) is first to respond to any type of emergency as requested.
AFTER YOU CALL 911, BUT BEFORE THE AMBULANCE ARRIVES, THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS YOU CAN DO UNTIL EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ARRIVE. THESE SIMPLE PROCEDURES WILL GREATLY AID THE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AND THE PATIENT.
1. If you determine that the patient is pulseless and non-breathing, begin CPR but only if you have been trained to do so.
2. Stay Calm, do not get excited. This will reassure the patient that help is on the way.
3. Make the patient as comfortable as possible.
4. Gather all medications the patient may be taking. This will help the emergency responders better determine the medical history of the patient. The hospital will also need to see these medications.
5. Move all furniture or obstacles out of the way so emergency responders have easy access to the patient. Secure all pets in another part of the house.
6. REMEMBER THE TIME, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. When was the last time you talked with the patient? How long has the medical condition existed? How long has the person been unconscious?
Our department is not unlike many fire department-based EMS providers. We provide full-service ALS throughout the district. Calls for emergency medical services account for 50 percent of the activity in the district. The fire district's revenue stream depends heavily on property taxes. Additionally compounding this revenue source is a property tax limitation law that restricts any further increases.
In essence, the effect of the state-imposed limitation factor was an auto-erosion of the fire tax rate extended to the residents of the fire district. All the while, we are faced with the continued concern of diminished resources as a result of reduced local government priority.
As a result, new and creative alternative revenue sources are a necessity. With an increase in calls for EMS and a need to deliver more diverse services as demands for those services shift, the need to impose benefit-based billing becomes a reality. Those who benefit should pay for the service at the risk of reducing levels of EMS or other vital programs to the community should service expenses escalate beyond revenues.
To that end, anyone receiving EMS in our district, resident or nonresident, receives an invoice for services and treatment delivered. Benefit-based charges are assessed using a base rate for transport and additional fees for specific procedures.
The prospect of paying user fees for services typically made available as a function of paying taxes is not popular. The myriad menu provided by the fire service has brought us to this crossroad. Therefore, why not pass on the cost of doing business to the end-user? The emergency medical services are made available by virtue of the taxes levied. However, once delivered, additional costs must be recovered. That said, why should all pay for the provision of a service or program only some use? In a fire district, this is analogous to paying taxes to school districts and paying tuition and related fees only when your children attend school or paying for the park district and having a surcharge levied when you use the gym or some other amenity.
Certainly, for fire departments and districts providing EMS transport, the issue of charging for service is in the forefront, as well it should be. And reimbursement is not limited to only this facet of our program delivery. As fire chiefs, we must ensure that we provide the highest quality of service in a profession that nobody does better than we do. As administrators, we must ensure that we provide that service in the most fiscally responsible manner.
As a resident of the District, if you receive an invoice for service, submit that invoice to your insurance provider for payment. If there is any further amount owed that is not paid by your insurance you would be responsible for that portion. However if any resident has any type of hardship or feels they should not be responsible for this portion please feel free to contact the Fire Chief and this can be worked out. We appreciate your support and understanding.
Also note that the Fire Department contracts an outside agency to handle all billing. The agency has a Mokena, IL address.