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Council To Discuss Tweaking Fire and Dispatch Services For Better Efficiency

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

The Peoria Fire Department may eliminate low-priority medical calls from its response roster.

The Peoria City Council will discuss the results and recommendations from a fire and dispatch service study conducted by Fitch and Associates last year at a special meeting Tuesday.

Peoria Fire Chief Tony Ardis said allowing Advanced Medical Transport to solo calls like falls in which the involved person is alert and just wants a hospital transport will free up firefighters for higher-priority tasks like serious accidents or fires. 

"Really, it's more of a keeping manpower in service for more critical calls. That's really where the importance comes into when you look at that," he said.

Falls alone amounted to more than 10 percent of the total calls firefighters responded to in 2017. 

The study ultimately led to the city taking the Peoria Fire Department's Rescue 1 and Rescue 2 out of service last year. The consultants initially recommended eliminating six machines from rotation. 

Ardis said the consultants also recommended a new dispatch software system, ProQA. 

"The goal of this program is to minimize or diminish the time it takes the dispatchers to tone us out for the call," Ardis said. "It's supposed to be a much quicker system than the END cards that they have been using." 

Fitch and Associates also recommended moving the Emergency Communications Center to the brightly-lit floor of the old police station, and hiring more dispatchers to better distribute the call load. 

Copyright 2021 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.