Paramedics swap out wheels for waves

By Alyssa Donovan

June 23, 2013 Updated Jun 24, 2013 at 11:20 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Being a paramedic means saving lives is part of the job description. But for these guys, working overtime has its perks.

That's because on the weekends they trade in their ambulance, for a boat.

River medic Matt Phelan says a spot on the AMT boat is a coveted position.

"The boat team is a privilege there's lots of people and we only have so many spots on the boat team. And who doesn't love getting out on the boat for a weekend and getting paid for it," Phelan said.

However, it's not all fun and games.

The team cruises the river to make sure kids under 12-years-old are wearing their life jackets and people are playing it safe.

"We respond to any 911 emergency on the river. Whether it's a cut or something serious we'll handle anything. We're fully staffed and equipped just like any ambulance on the street would be," River Medic Colin Besser said.

"We have three positions on the boat, we have a basic EMT that provides basic life support, we have a paramedic that is able to perform basic life support skills and we also have an operator," Phelan said.

Wen the calls aren't coming in,the team cruises around letting boaters know they are there in case of an emergency.

The boat team is on call 24-7 throughout the summer and respond to non-medical emergencies as well.

It also important for the team to test the equipment to make sure everything works when it's time to jump into action.

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