Soon after a legislative task force unveiled a report about the shortcomings of emergency medical services in Illinois, professionals from around the state are creating an Illinois EMS Alliance. "EMS is a unique profession, one that straddles both medical care and public safety,” said Mike Hansen, chairman of the Illinois EMS Advisory Council. “Among public safety agencies, however, EMS is often regarded as a secondary service.”
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In fact, police and fire are legally classified as an “essential service” in Illinois, while EMS is not. The problems cited include an overreliance on volunteers and inadequate recruiting. Ambulance crew members, doctors, and other medicine-related interest groups are joining the American Heart Association in calling attention to the problems.