Ordinance would charge assisted living facilities for calling FFs to lift patients

Fire officials say the fees would hopefully deter facilities from relying too heavily on emergency services


Andy Kravetz
Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.

PEORIA, Ill. — Assisted living facilities could soon pay $400 or more if they call Peoria firefighters to help pick up a patient who has fallen.

The Peoria City Council took a first listen to a proposed ordinance that would charge such facilities for every call. The idea, Fire Chief Tony Ardis told the council, was deterrence.

"These facilities have medical staff on site who can handle these type of situations We are spread very thin and have changed other areas in attempt to keep our machines available for emergency incidents," the chief said.

Those calls are fairly commonly heard on the fire radio frequencies by those who listen to a scanner. Ardis said the idea isn't to make money off the facilities — the fee, as it stands now, will not cover the cost of sending a truck and its crew to a scene.

This fee will not, the chief said, apply to those who live in independent living facilities or personal homes.

Councilman Chuck Grayeb, who represents the 2nd District, said he favored increasing the fee to cover the cost of sending a fire crew on a lift-assist call. His rationale was those facilities should be able to take care of such calls.

City Manager Patrick Urich said one possible reason could be their reluctant to possibly delve into what could turn into a worker's compensation issue.

The measure will now come back at a later meeting, possibly the next one, where a final vote could be taken.

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©2020 the Journal Star (Peoria, Ill.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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