IMH Emergency Medical Service (EMS) employs 15 Paramedics, 2 Intermediates, and 11 Basic EMTs. Collectively, they have over 340 years of service, including five individuals with more than 20 years each.
They service Iroquois County with 2 ambulance bays located in Watseka and Gilman. In 2017, IMH EMS responded to 4,517 calls.
While each call is important…some calls are more memorable than others..
This particular call came in on a bright sunny day. EMS responded to a 2 vehicle accident with injuries. Once they arrived on scene, EMTs were directed to a child lying in the nearby ditch that they assumed had been ejected from the vehicle. It was later found that the child was not ejected from the vehicle – with the vehicle on fire, a bystander thought the child would be safer in the ditch and had moved him before the ambulance could arrive. Near the vehicle was a man who was also lifeless, having CPR performed in attempt to save his life. They approached the child, he had an obvious broken arm and seemed limp and lifeless. EMTs quickly determined he had a pulse and immobilized him by putting his neck in a brace, working his limp body onto a backboard, and strapping him down in order to move him into the ambulance. While they were heading to the hospital, the child was determined to have a GCS (Glasgow Coma Scale) score of 3 which means he was completely unresponsive. The EMT placed an IV and ventilated the child with a bag-valve mask. Upon arrival at the hospital, due to the severity of his injuries, the helicopter was called in. He was still unresponsive as the ER staff prepared him to be transported to a larger hospital.
Often times, once the call is completed and the EMTs are released they don’t have the closure of knowing how the patient fairs. However, this patient’s family reached out and made a point to thank the EMTs for their service. Fortunately, the child did survive. He spent quite a bit of time in the hospital following the accident and may never fully recover. However, without the diligent work of our EMTs he may not have had the chance to try.
Thank you to our amazing team of EMTs – this EMS Week and every week! Your service does not go unnoticed.