Emergency Medical Services

The delivery of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) made a dramatic improvement in the 1970's. Prior to that time, a request from our citizens for EMS received the response of an inhalator squad. This inhalator squad would assist the patient by administering oxygen and calling a private ambulance to transport the patient to the hospital. During a heart attack, this treatment did little or nothing to reduce the damage caused by the heart attack. If the patient had sustained some traumatic injury, the firefighters would bandage their cuts and splint the broken bones and then call the ambulance to transport the patient to the hospital.

Paramedic Program Origin

The Vietnam war was responsible for changing the level of service provided in Flossmoor. Doctors returning home after having served in Vietnam were concerned that the average American injured in an automobile accident could not receive the same type of pre-hospital care that the soldiers on the battlefield received. These veterans set about changing the delivery and quality of emergency medical services. Laws were enacted to establish what we know today as the paramedic program.

The paramedic program first began in Flossmoor under the leadership of Dr. August Paredes from Ingalls Hospital. He appeared at a Flossmoor Village Board meeting in mid 1973 and asked Flossmoor to participate in the program. Dr. Paredes explained the details of how the program would work, including the cost and commitment required of the Village.

1st Flossmoor Paramedics

The Flossmoor Volunteer Fire Department got involved in this paramedic program in the fall of 1973 when 6 members enrolled in the 1st part of the program. By the end of January 1974, the Village Board approved the necessary funds to purchase the cardiac monitor and telemetry radio that would be needed by the paramedics. These 1st 6 students challenged and passed the certification examination administered by the Illinois Department of Public Health to become paramedics. The Flossmoor Volunteer Fire Department became operational on September 1, 1974 after being field tested by the medical staff from Ingalls Hospital. During 1975, the 1st full year of service, the paramedics responded to approximately 102 EMS requests.

EMS Coordinator

Since 1974 the EMS program has seen many changes. Karen Kara who took over as EMS Coordinator in 2003 replacing Glen McAuliff is responsible for coordination of our EMS program. The EMS Coordinator is responsible for tracking EMT-B and EMT-P certifications, continuing education, and recertification. The EMS Coordinator is also responsible for:
  • Ambulance license renewal
  • Drug and controlled substance inventories
  • EMS inventory tracking
  • EMS program coordination with the South Cook County EMS System
  • Maintaining EMS equipment
  • Tracking cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructor certifications and CPR classes
Ingalls Memorial Hospital is the Resource Hospital in the South Cook County System.

Staffing Changes

On January 24, 2000 a Village ordinance was passed stating that police officers were no longer required to be certified paramedics, but they would still be required to remain certified EMT-Bs. This change took place because the Fire Department currently has 2 full-time contract paramedics and 2 part-time paramedics 24 hours a day. This staffing was approved by the village board to not only staff the primary response ambulance, but also to relieve pressure from the 3 full-time administrative employees (Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and Training Administrator) to fulfill their own day-to day functions.


In 2006, the Flossmoor Fire Department replaced our 1976 Ambulance with a new 2006 model from Wheeled Coach Ambulance Co. located in Winter Park, FL. This unit provides Advanced Life Support in a primary response capacity and allows our paramedics to skillfully treat and transport our residents in time of crisis and to continue to meet the growing demands for emergency service.