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EMS Strong: Unconventional methods…

IMH Emergency Medical Service (EMS) employs 15 Paramedics, 2 Intermediates, and 11 Basic EMTs. With a collective 340+ years of experience, servicing Iroquois County with bays located in Watseka and Gilman, and responding to 4,517 calls in 2017 alone – to say they have seen a lot is an understatement.

While each call is important…some calls are more memorable than others..


Some calls start out harmless and can turn serious quite quickly. Late one evening, EMTs responded to call for a woman who had been loitering on the railroad tracks. They arrived on the scene and began to talk to the woman. She carried on normal conversation, but was pacing the tracks. After talking and attempting to indirectly coax the woman to move away from the tracks for quite some time, it became clear that she had no plans of moving. EMTs and police began to directly trying to convince her to come off of the tracks towards safety. It took quite some time but she finally agreed to move to safety – on one condition – the attending police officer had to ride her small bicycle down the hill away from the tracks. Obviously, there was no hesitation from the officer and luckily she held up her end of the deal.


Once they were able to get the woman into the ambulance, it was not over. She quickly became nervous and very agitated. She started making attempts to open the doors in the ambulance while it was moving after she removed her seatbelt! Thinking quickly, the EMT riding in the back of the ambulance noticed that she was wearing headphones and began to talk to her about what type of music she was listening to in order to distract her. Before long, she had turned up the volume on her headphones so they could both hear the music. The remainder of the ride to the hospital was spent singing oldies tunes with the patient to keep her calm and focused elsewhere. It worked like a charm, before they knew it she was safely in hospital care.  Like most EMS calls, the fate of this woman is unknown and, to this day, the EMT said he isn’t sure what her thoughts were while she was pacing on those tracks, but fortunately things worked out and another was saved.

In EMS, saving people is not always conventional – sometimes it requires less medical supplies and more caring and quick thinking outside of the box. Thank you to our amazing EMS teams and Happy EMS Week!!


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