Double the Safety

By WEEK Reporter
By Anna Yee

February 2, 2011 Updated Feb 2, 2011 at 11:32 PM CDT

You may have heard the proverb, "Injuries put us on our guard."

Those guarding us include our first responders, who get their day started, while you and your kids get the day off.

Advanced Medical Transport of Central Illinois has upped its on-duty staff Wednesday to nearly 40 technicians and medics-- some even working up to 24-hour shifts.

The AMT Director says the city's preparedness helped them work more efficiently.

"The City needs to be commended for the job they've done in regards to the snow removal plan," said Rex Comerford, AMT Administrative Director.

"It's helped our crews in navigating the streets. Crews have gotten stuck in some of the residential areas," he continued, "but it's been minor compared to snow storms we've had in the past."

And AMT is doing their part to insure safety. This is the first year they've collaborated with the Peoria Fire Department, by posting medics at fire stations around the city.

AMT vehicles usually park outdoors, but starting Tuesday, they've been stationed at five of the 12 fire houses in Peoria.

"Last day or so, it's been a very good operation together, and they are working very well together," said Greg Walters, Peoria Fire Dept. Assistant Chief.

"Fire's great," said Jeramy Doerr, EMT Basic. "They help with lifting patients. If you got to pull a patient more than two feet of snow, you're going to need more than two guys to do it."

"They've got chains on their tires and we follow right there. They don't ever get lost, so we just respond together," continued Doerr. "We're there at the same time. It makes it a lot easier actually."

And in their down time, they still have a little fun.

"Well, they provided us with food the whole time, TV's, you know, the supervisors and management made it really fun," said Doerr.

But when the call comes, both emergency responders are on their guard, double-teaming for double the safety.

The AMT Director says the collaboration was Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis' idea.

The EMT and paramedics will be staying at the fire stations again Wednesday even, but it's back to business as usual Thursday.

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