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Based upon general travel conditions, proximity to the village, and the ability 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.
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
Transportation to any other area hospital is performed by private ambulance service and at the sole expense of the patient.
Yes, the current fee is based upon an average of regional ambulance service rates and varies based upon the overall complexity of the medical services provided. Patients who refuse service and are not transported to a local hospital are not charged for service. However, fees are charged for individuals who utilize the Fire Department's services for invalid assists (ex. lifting off of the floor) and have no medical basis for their call for emergency service.
A third party billing company, hired by the Village of Wheeling, handles billing for ambulance service. Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Part B, and/or private medical insurance payments are accepted as payment in full for all charges and collection of individual deductibles are waived. Ambulance fees cannot be waived for those individuals who choose to not have medical insurance or who choose to purchase medical insurance policies with high deductibles These are personal choices and therefore, the individual is solely responsible for their ambulance bill.. Ambulance bills are charged to patients receiving medical care by the Fire Department regardless of who specifically calls for ambulance service.
For questions regarding medical billing, contact the telephone number that appears on your bill or call the Fire Department at 847-459-2662 (M-F; 08:00 am - 04:30 pm).
All shift personnel are cross-trained as firefighter/paramedics. On those calls that may be life-threatening (for example, chest pains, car accidents, stroke, unconscious patients, etc.), a fire engine is dispatched to provide additional manpower needed to initiate advanced life support treatment. If they are not needed, the fire engine is released from the call.
In addition, fire engines carry the same paramedic equipment as an ambulance, but cannot transport patients. In those rare cases where an ambulance is not immediately available, the personnel from the fire engine can still initiate paramedic services, prior to the arrival of an ambulance on the scene.
Smoke detectors typically last up to ten (10) years. As they reach the end of their useful life, they will typically "beep" and will not stop "beeping" even if new batteries are installed. Most smoke detectors also have a manufacture date sticker on the inside battery compartment or on the bottom plate of the smoke detector. New smoke detectors come with ten (10) year long-life batteries installed which cannot be changed and when the battery is depleted, it is time to replace the entire smoke detector assembly.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors have a shorter life span - typically five (5) years. When they reach the end of their useful life, they typically go into "alarm" and will not stop, even if reset and/or new batteries are installed. Like smoke detectors, CO detectors typically have a manufacture date sticker on the inside battery compartment or on the bottom/backside plate of the detector.
When replacing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, look for units that have been independently tested and have either the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) seal or Factory Mutual (FM) seal. Smoke detectors should be installed (as a minimum) on every floor and inside every bedroom of your home.Smoke detectors with both ionization and photoelectric sensors (i.e. dual sensors) provide the most protection. Don't put smoke detectors in your kitchen or bathrooms, since cooking smoke and/or moisture will cause false activation of the detector. The Fire Department recommends selecting a CO detector unit with a digital read-out for easy of use. Smoke detectors and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors can be purchased regionally at Wal-Mart, Target, ACE Hardware, Home Depot, and Lowes.
The open burning of garbage, refuse, litter, waste paper, cardboard, plastic, landscape waste, leaves, construction debris, treated lumber, pallets, flammable and/or combustible liquids, wet or damp wood, and/or unseasoned wood are prohibited. Individuals in violation are subject to being issued citations and fines. Recreational fires using portable fireplaces at single family homes and townhomes are permitted as long as they are used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, are not operated within 15 feet of any structures or combustible materials, and only clean, seasoned (i.e. dry) wood is used as the fuel source. Recreational fireplaces used near townhomes may be subject to additional restrictions based upon their particular homeowners association. All recreational fires must be constantly attended and must either have a nearby fire extinguisher, bucket of water, and/or a garden hose. Bonfires are strictly prohibited except for public events and only with pre-approved permits and the fire department on standby.
Barbecue grills are prohibited on all balconies unless it is fully protected by an automatic fire sprinkler system and the grill is fueled by propane gas with a cylinder size no greater than 2 1/2 pounds (i.e. small cylinder). Additional regulations may apply based upon the individual tenant lease and/or the homeowners association rules and regulations. Occupants are strongly encouraged to utilize amenities provided by their individual complex for outside recreational cooking.
Each fire department in the country is evaluated by an independent agency known as the "Insurance Services Organization (ISO)." This evaluation takes into consideration the department’s equipment, staffing levels, communications network, training, and water supply system. Based upon points obtained in all areas of the evaluation, the fire department is then placed in one of 10 categories with a "Class 1" being the best. Based upon the category assigned, fire insurance rates are then determined.
The Wheeling Fire Department's Class 2 rating places the department in the top 3 1/2% of all fire departments nationwide. Wheeling’s Class 2 rating is extremely good and homeowners, as well as local businesses, resulting in relatively low fire insurance rates. Residents and businesses are encouraged to discuss the fire department's ISO rating with their property insurance company to make sure they are getting all the premium discounts they deserve. The Fire Department was last evaluated and classified by ISO in 2017.