The Rockford Fire Department announced new recommendations to help ambulance response times in the wake of a May 26 incident where emergency personnel took almost 30 minutes to get to a shooting victim.
The department released a statement documenting six recommendations to help private ambulance companies get to incidents quicker and with less confusion.
Those recommendations include:— Requiring operators of licensed ALS ambulance services that provide back-up coverage for the RFD to complete a driver safety course, including how to properly operate emergency vehicles, as well as map book training;
This comes after an investigation into the May 26 incident after 21-year-old Andrew Barth lost his life in a shooting, despite it happening near SwedishAmerican Hospital.
According to a timeline provided by the Rockford Fire Department, a private ambulance was dispatched on behalf of Barth at 512 Pearl St. at 1:18 p.m. The fire administration says that afternoon, other ambulance companies were tied up at other emergencies. The ambulance that responded to the incident came from OSF. It took almost 30 minutes to get to Barth, and 36 minutes for emergency personnel to get him to the hospital.
While that ambulance was en route, two other ambulances were also dispatched. One went to the wrong Pearl St. The other was canceled from the call by RFD.
Barth's father, Tim, appeared before Rockford City Council a week later to bring attention to the response times, as well as the increase in violent crimes in the area.