Lombard staffing third ambulance to handle jump in calls
Faced with ever-increasing calls for service, the Lombard Fire Department now will staff a third ambulance every day round-the-clock.
Assistant Fire Chief Jerry Howell said the department responded to 6,699 ambulance calls last year and a couple hundred of those had to be answered by crews from neighboring communities because Lombard's were busy elsewhere.
He said he expects the number of calls to increase again this year for a variety of reasons.
"We've experienced a lot of development in the area," he said. "We also cover a good section of I-355, so we've seen increased calls for service on the highway. It's also possible we may be seeing an increase due to residents and citizens having better ability to get insurance."
Howell said the department acquired its third ambulance in September, but only recently received funding from the village board to staff it round-the-clock like its two other ambulances.
Howell said the department also can use its fire engines to provide medical aid because those vehicles carry the same life support equipment and medications as the ambulances. In addition, every Lombard firefighter is a state-certified paramedic.
The main difference, though, is that only ambulances can transport patients to the hospital.