[cifnmedia] Committee: Ambulance monopoly better for 911

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 19:47:56 -0700 (PDT)

Local News 

Committee: Ambulance monopoly better for 911

By BILL GRIMES, Daily News
Saying, in effect, that too many cooks are spoiling the soup, the Effingham 
County Ad Hoc Ambulance Committee is calling on the county board to allow only 
one ambulance service to operate within the county.

Wednesday, the Ad Hoc Committee unanimously approved submission of a letter to 
county board Chairman Leonard Waldhoff calling for establishment of an 
ambulance monopoly, chiefly because of concerns the four existing services are 
having too much trouble retaining paramedics.

"By eliminating competition and guaranteeing one ambulance service 100 percent 
of all runs and transports, revenue that was once distributed among four 
ambulance services would be directed to one service," the letter says. "The 
intent is to retain qualified paramedics by offering competitive wages and 

Committee member Chuck Schuette, who spoke in favor of the letter Wednesday, 
said creating the monopoly would enable county residents to receive better 
ambulance service. He illustrated his point with the example of a heart attack 

"If a person has a heart attack, they don't want a person with six months 
experience when they could have somebody with five years experience," Schuette 
said, adding the more experienced paramedic would be less likely to make 
potentially crippling or fatal mistakes.

Schuette pointed out that Jefferson County, about an hour south of Effingham, 
created an ambulance monopoly nearly 30 years ago that works well.

The letter also advocates the creation of an "oversight committee" comprised of 
physicians, other health care professionals and community leaders. This 
committee would be responsible for:

€ Establishing criteria used to select the single service.

€ Recommending a service that best meets the criteria.

€ Monitoring the performance of the selected service so that service quality 
is maximized and regulatory requirements are met.

Effingham County is presently served by Effingham Advanced Ambulance Service, 
Effingham City-County Ambulance, Altamont Ambulance Service and Gieseking 
Ambulance Service. However, the Effingham City-County and Altamont services are 
both owned by Terry White of Altamont, while the Gieseking service does not 
provide advanced paramedic service.

Small parts of the county also are served by ambulance services operated 
through the Tri-County and Stewardson Fire Protection districts.

In other action Wednesday, the ad hoc committee voted to recommend to the 
Emergency Telephone Systems (911) Board that the old Three Corners Ambulance 
Service territory be split between the Effingham Advanced and Altamont 
services. In effect, this proposal would give the Altamont service ambulance 
runs within Edgewood, while Effingham Advanced would handle runs in Mason.

The old Three Corners area covered all of West and Mason townships, as well as 
the western third of Union Township.

Chief Deputy John Loy, who presented the proposed split, said the dividing line 
between the two service areas would be 800th Street. Loy is a member of the 
Emergency Service Committee of the 911 board that crafted the proposed split. 
Other members of that committee are Kate Weber and Butch Mounteer.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151 ext. 132 or 


Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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