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Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • Council to vote Monday to ask for Rescue 33's license application to be reviewed

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  • It may not be a stamp of approval, but Ambulance Rescue 33 could get its wish of having its license application reviewed.
    A motion to "Request to Peoria Area EMS Board to Review Rescue 33 Application for Reinstatement" is on the Chillicothe City Council agenda for Monday night's 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall.
    If approved, the council is giving the green light for Dr. Cheryl Colbenson, medical director for Peoria Area EMS Board, to look at Rescue 33's license application. She had previously asked the city to choose a preferred provider between Rescue 33 and Advanced Medical Transport, who both turned in applications to cover the area.
    Until the city made a choice, Colbenson said she would not review either of the applications.
    “This at least gives us a chance to be reviewed,” said Ron Hedden, Rescue 33 president.
    Rescue 33's license was permanently suspended and AMT began covering the area Sept. 4.
    "As we have said before, we don't have the expertise to make a decision between the two ... And yes, the community supports Rescue 33, though not unanimously."
    He said so far he had received four phone calls, three of which were against Rescue 33; and about a dozen emails, three for AMT and nine for Rescue 33 (noting that three of the nine were on Rescue 33's staff).
    Boyer heads the police/fire committee, and at the last meeting Jan. 15, the committee wanted more input from citizens. Receiving input, Boyer said it was time to move ahead.
    "Let's just take this to a vote and don't delay it any longer," said Boyer of the aldermen's thinking. He said he expects the motion to pass.
    Rescue 33 officials have said previously it would take at least two months before they could be back up and running if they received a license.
    Additionally, the situation was becoming more confusing as time has continued.
    Both Boyer and Mayor Troy Childers Sr. said the water became muddy, or even muddier, after the PAEMS board's attorney issued a statement about the process.
    The attorney questioned if the city should be making a decision for the entire area Rescue 33 used to service, which includes unincorporated areas.
    "Every time they make a statement it's more confusing than the last time," said Childers.
    "The community support for Rescue 33 is definitely there. I hope that the people who have showed passion about this — that after they're reinstated, if they should be reinstated — I hope they show that same amount of passion afterward," said Boyer.
    The mayor added that he thought Rescue 33 "deserved" to have its application reviewed.

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