Local officials recognized the Lake Zurich Fire/Rescue Department at the Village Board meeting Monday for its recent efforts that saved the life of an 81-year-old Lake Zurich resident.
On Jan. 28, firefighter/paramedics Aaron O’Brien, Steve Norman, Matthew Kempf, Jeremiah Johnson, Jeff Ritchie and Lt. Dave Borst responded to an emergency call regarding a man experiencing chest pains.
Upon their arrival, the victim reported having left arm pain and felt sick to his stomach. He then became unresponsive.
Firefighter/paramedics performed two rounds of rescue CPR and defibrillation and were able to get a pulse. The man was transported to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, where he received treatment — including a stent replacement.
He since has been released from the hospital with no neurological problems.
“When we get there and the person is talking and then they become unresponsive, cardiac resuscitation is needed,” said Fire Chief Dave Wheelock. “To be able to save a life in this situation is happening a lot more than in days past.”
“Our department spends a tremendous amount of time training; because they take it so seriously is how we are able to have (more of) these outcomes,” Wheelock added.
New Ambulance Purchase
The Village Board approved $200,847 for the purchase of a new ambulance. The emergency vehicle will replace a 1997 model that is nearly three years beyond its replacement date.
It has logged 12,000 drive hours and has more than 100,000 miles on it.
The original cost was $207,243. Wheelock suggested the board consider paying the full balance upon ordering it to qualify for a 3 percent pre-payment discount of $6,396.
“We don’t take it lightly that we are looking to replace this unit. It is going to be an extensive improvement in the fleet — otherwise we would face growing maintenance and improvement costs as time goes by,” Wheelock said.
The amount originally budgeted for the ambulance was $225,000.
The village has four ambulances.
Potential Purchase of New Fire Engine
The board also heard from Chief Wheelock about what could be seen as an “out of the box” idea on how the village also could obtain a much-needed new fire engine.
Wheelock proposed that the village enter into a rider agreement with the Lake Zurich Rural Fire Protection District to purchase the new engine.
Pending further discussions with the rural fire protection district — which Wheelock stated have been positive so far — the district would pay the entire cost of $475,000 budgeted for the new engine.
There would be a four-year payback by the village to the rural fire protection district of $61,311 in the form of credit for service for each year.
The anticipated cost split would be $229,757.50 for the rural fire protection district and $245,242.50 for the village.
“We have no reserve apparatus. If we did, it would help to reduce the stress on our current vehicles,” Wheelock said.
Of the four engines, all have between 77,000 and 111,000 miles on them, with drive hours logged between 6,700 and 10,500.
Their suggested replacement years are 2014, 2017, 2018 and 2022,
A fifth emergency vehicle, the 100-foot aerial ladder engine, has more than 9,000 hours logged and more than 64,000 miles on it. Wheelock said replacing it will cost the village more than $1 million when it is due for replacement in 2025.
The board decided to revisit the idea at the March 5 meeting once the upcoming budget numbers are finalized.
Depending on how the board votes, Wheelock then would go back to the fire district board at its mid-March meeting to determine if it would move forward with the proposal.