Second City Cop turns us on to a story in Chicago that is just another reason not to travel to Chicago – home of Illinois strictest gun control laws and highest violent crime. No correlation there between crime and gun control, of course. No. Huh-uh.
It’s not directly gun related, however, if you have a health emergency in Chicago while traveling there on business or pleasure, the advanced life support ambulance services you presently enjoy in your hometown may not be available in Chicago… and even if one might be available, you’re going to wait longer for it to arrive in America’s second-largest city.
To make matters worse, instead of fixing the problem, the Chicago of Chicago is telling dispatchers and employees to avoid mentioning the unavailability of ALS-equipped ambulances in their radio communications.
It’s kind of like crime under Mayor Rahm and Police Chief Garry “Streetlight Assassin” McCarthy: Ignore it and it doesn’t exist.
- The CBS 2 Investigators and the Better Government Association have been warning about an apparent shortage of Chicago ambulances and paramedics. The result: dangerous delays for patients needing emergency care.So far, it seems the city is trying to cover the problem up instead of fixing it. In the meantime, the response times for ambulances are just getting worse.“Anybody available downtown that can take a run,” a dispatcher’s voice crackles through the scanner speaker.
- But now, city officials apparently don’t want the media or anyone else with a scanner to hear some of those transmissions asking for help. They are asking dispatchers to watch what they say.
CBS 2 and the BGA obtained a copy of a memo written by a supervisor at the Office of Emergency Management. It called shout-outs for any available ambulances: “not an acceptable practice.”The memo instructs dispatchers to, “Avoid terminology like we have no ALS (advanced life support) ambulances available,”….particularly when they have to send a basic life support ambulance to the scene and a fire engine with a paramedic on board. Basic life support ambulances do not have paramedics and the same equipment as advanced life ambulances.Dispatchers should use ambulance numbers to instruct staff in the field on what to do in those cases, the memo said, adding, “Hopefully we can get the message across without highlighting the fact that no ALS unit is available.”