by Myke Feinman Managing Editor
The Dwight Emergency Management Services department made 1,049 calls in 2015, an increase of 98 over 2014.
“So basically, calls are on the upswing,” said Dwight EMS Director Al Metzke. “The trend is on the upswing and it will continue to go up.”
Of the total calls last year, 454 were to private residential homes and 128 were to Heritage Woods assisted living facility.
There were also 99 calls made to Heritage Health nursing home, 88 calls for roadway accidents and 35
calls for vehicular accidents. “We’re getting more medical calls – chest pains, difficulty breathing,”
For the year, advanced life support calls totalled 428 in 2015 while basic life support was 128.
Advanced life support trauma calls totaled 56 while basic life support trauma was 60.
The department’s ambulance transportation trips went to Morris Hospital more than anywhere else at 418 trips for the year.
The next highest was OSF St. James, Pontiac at 129 trips.
Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee has 76 trips. Metzke noted that the staffing in 2015 was the same as staffing in 2014 with very little volunteer hours (total of 192 for the year). The department has eight full time employees and 10 part-time.
There are two ambulances, one of which is staffed 24-hours-a-day, seven-days a week. The second is staffed on weekdays about 73% of each day.
“We are in budget preparation right now,” Metzke explained. The department’s annual budget up to March 31 was $651,574.
“Status-wise, we’ve jumped up 98 calls,” Metzke
continued. “We’ve gotten to where we need to cover a second ambulance, full- time.”
To staff the second ambulance for more than 73% of the hours in the day would require another four full time EMS technicians, he said.
Metzke said he has been recommending at service meetings more ambulance coverage, but it costs money. It is estimated at an additional $200,000 per year.
“As far as service organizations, we’re the busiest,” Metzke continued.
“And the calls are expected to increase from here on in,” he added.