Emergency Medical Services

The Wheeling Fire Department is part of the St. Francis Emergency Medical System (SFEMS) in Evanston, Illinois. The Wheeling Fire Department has operated full-time Paramedic services since 1972.  All shift personnel are specially cross-trained as both "Firefighters" and "Paramedics".  In addition to the Fire Department's ambulances, the Fire Department's fire engines are also equipped with Paramedic equipment and personnel assigned to these vehicles can initiate Paramedic life-saving skills prior to the arrival of an ambulance.  On potentially life-threatening medical calls (ex. heart attack, stroke, severe trauma, burns, etc.), both an ambulance and a fire engine are simultaneously dispatched to the scene in order to provide a minimum of 5 paramedics to maximize life-saving efforts.

Emergency medical services are strictly for actual medical emergencies and are not to be used for routine in-home medical care (ex. invalid assists, blood pressure checks, etc.) or for non-serious medical conditions (ex. colds, flu, minor bumps and bruises, minor lacerations, etc.). Misuse of emergency medical services can potentially delay critical emergency medical service to those with much more serious medical needs and has an adverse impact on taxpayer provided finances.  

Medical Transport:

Emergency medical treatment and transportation is provided using 4 mobile intensive care ambulances staffed by full-time firefighter/paramedics. Patients are stabilized on the emergency scene and are then transported to one of the following local hospitals based upon their specific medical needs:
  • Condell Medical Center (Level I Trauma Center) - Libertyville
  • Glenbrook Hospital (Level II Trauma Center) - Glenview
  • Lutheran General Hospital (Level I Trauma Center) - Park Ridge
  • Northwest Community Hospital (Level II Trauma Center) - Arlington Heights
Level I Trauma Centers are only utilized for those patients with life-threatening trauma conditions such as; amputations, impalement, crushing injuries, or extensive burns.  All of the above hospitals are capable of providing advanced medical care for all other medical conditions such as; heart attacks, strokes, and moderate/minor trauma.

Other Hospitals:

Patients are not transported to any other hospitals than those listed above. If a patient requests transportation to another hospital, a private ambulance will be requested and the patient is responsible for any and all costs associated with the private ambulance service. Fire Department personnel will transfer patient care to the private ambulance crew, upon their arrival at the scene.

Patient Charges & Billing:

Patients are charged for transportation, mileage to the hospital, and disposable supplies utilized during their medical treatment in accordance with the general industry rates for the Chicago-Metro area. These rates are increased annually based upon the CPI for the Chicago-Metro area.  Billing for services rendered is handled by a 3rd party private agency on behalf of the Village of Wheeling.  Any and all payments received from private and governmental insurance are considered as "payment in full", unless a credit is applied to the individual's annual health insurance deductible.  In these cases, the individual is then responsible for paying the Village of Wheeling for the amount applied to their annual health insurance deductible (i.e. similar to any other medical professional and/or hospital bill; considered as "out-of-pocket").