The ambulance services in Peru, Oglesby and Spring Valley are now qualified to transfer critically ill patients between hospitals.
As of Dec. 3, the Peru Volunteer Ambulance Service, Oglesby Ambulance Service and 10/33 Ambulance Service in Spring Valley have been upgraded to the Tier 2 critical care level of service by the Illinois Department of Public Health. This means paramedics who have received critical care training who work for these services can maintain lifesaving interventions begun on patients at hospitals while the patients are being taken from one hospital to another.
“These specially trained critical care paramedics can administer and monitor medications and perform potentially lifesaving procedures in the ambulance,” said Bobbi Ruban, Illinois Valley EMS coordinator.
Achievement of critical care status means critically ill patients can be transferred by ground ambulance when helicopter service is not available or feasible, such as during bad weather or if the helicopter has mechanical problems
“The paramedics who have taken the large amount of time necessary to get critical care education are to be commended for their hard work,” Ruban said.
Ruban said only a small number of local paramedics are critically-care trained. She said efforts are underway to organize a class this spring so the number of paramedics qualified to handle critical care transfers can be increased.
The Illinois Valley Emergency Medical System is coordinated by Illinois Valley Community Hospital.