The following is a press release issued by Rescue 33 on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Judging from releases, meetings, and public comments, it is clear that the issues involved in Rescue 33’s attempts at reinstatement are getting confused causing a lot of misunderstanding. In reality, the procedure is very simple as long as the separate steps are not confused and misinterpreted. That is why we want to try and clarify the issues as we understand them.
We agree that it may be a lengthy process for the Peoria Area Emergency Medical Services System (PAEMS) to review all of the issues and documents that have gotten us to this point. However, the current issue with the City of Chillicothe is entirely separate. When Rescue 33 submitted its plan for reinstatement to PAEMS, a second service, Advance Medical Transport (AMT), also indicated that they were interested in servicing the same area. As they stated, it is not PAEMS’ job to determine a community’s preference on a sen/ice, just to determine if the service chosen is qualified to operate. Therefore, PAEMS told the City of Chillicothe and Ambulance Rescue 33 that they wanted the City to indicate which service it preferred prior to issuing an opinion as to whether or not the service chosen is qualified to serve. The final issue is whether or not the City should be making the preference for the entire coverage area involved. Therefore the whole process is clearly a three step process requiring very distinct issues.
The first issue is the City of Chi||icothe’s role in the process. They are being asked to indicate their preference to PAEMS so that they know which proposal to evaluate. This has to be done prior to the review process by PAEMS even begins. Therefore, there are two very separate timelines. It is important that the City indicates its preference as soon as possible so that PAEMS can start its process. Furthermore, it is important that Chillicothe makes a decision; because refusing to do so is the same as saying, we do not even want to give Ambulance Rescue 33 a chance to go through the PAEMS qualification procedure.
The second issue is PAEMS’ role in the process. Once they receive a preference, they have to professionally evaluate the service chosen to see if they qualify. As they have said, this is a review of the business plan and application for reinstatement to ensure that the plan and application remedies the problems which led to suspension. Also, they determine if We comply with State EMS regulations, the Standards and Policies of PAEMS, and determine whether or not Rescue 33 has the resources to do so. Rescue 33 has submitted its business plan and application and is confident that it can work with PAEMS to answer all its questions and concerns. Rescue 33 has the new structure, business plan, expertise and 47 years of experience to feel confident that they will get through the PAEMS process. It is only hoped that the City allows them to take part in that process and let the professionals determine whether or not they are qualified.
Page 2 of 2 - The third and final issue is Whether or not the City of Chillicothe, as a representative of only part of the coverage area, should even be making a decision. When PAEMS indicated that it Wanted a preference from Chillicothe, it was probably just an oversight that the other governments were not asked for their input. That is why Rescue 33 approached them separately and asked them to make the same decision as the City of Chillicothe. Four of these five units of government have taken a stance and issued opinions, the remaining township meets this coming week. Consequently, the City is only being asked to decide for its own jurisdiction. Therefore, it is hoped that the City of Chillicothe Will also take a stance at its January 28th meeting and indicate its preference.
— Christopher F. Cassidy, Attorney for Ambulance Rescue 33