Based upon general travel conditions, proximity to the village, and the need to quickly return ambulances to the community, Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights and Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview have been chosen as the department’s designated receiving hospitals. Both of these hospitals are classified as Level II trauma centers and are capable of handling a wide variety of medical situations 24/7. While patients and their families may often be given a choice between these hospitals in which to be transported to, the ultimate decision as to where a patient will be transported to is up to the attending paramedic on the call, based upon the specific medical needs of the patient and/or available appropriate medical services at a particular hospital (ex. stroke center).
In cases of severe trauma and upon approval of the emergency room physician, patients are taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge or Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, since they are Level I trauma centers. These hospitals are set up to handle the most severe trauma patients 24/7.
Patient's who request transportation to any other area hospital is performed by private ambulance service and is at the sole expense of the patient. Depending upon the medical condition of the patient, paramedics may standby on the scene until the arrival of the private ambulance and proper transfer of the patient. In these situations, the patient will be required to sign a release of service form.
Occasionally, a particular hospital may be placed on "by-pass" status due to patient overload or other extenuating circumstances within the hospital. In these situation, the paramedics will be directed by the hospital emergency room physician to take the patient to another regional hospital which may be further away from the Village. This same situation can occur during incidents involving multiple patients (i.e. mass casualty incidents). Diverting of patients may occur once the ambulance has left the incident scene and is already en route to the hospital. While not the intent, this may result in some confusion for relatives of the patient thinking that the patient went to a particular hospital and ended up at another. Unfortunately, once the ambulance has left the incident scene and personnel are focusing their attention on the patient, they will not be able to call relatives to advise them of this change in most cases.