Antioch Rescue Squad Continues To Implement Positive Change

Feb 18, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: I-Newswire.com

The Antioch Rescue Squad continues to put positive measures in place as part of its mission to foster open communication, establish accountability and restore community trust.

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1 - 20 of 39 Comments Last updated Jun 15, 2013
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Uncle Google

Lake Villa, IL

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#1
Feb 19, 2013
 
The ARS needs to spend less time strutting around town crowing about its so called accomplishments and spend less money having its PR firm put out this pablum. The bottom line is ARS is an outmoded model of a kind of rescue service left over from the 1940's. It's time to consolidate ARS into the AFD. At a minimum, all the money they are wasting on PR would end, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have wasted on fines, lawsuits, fees, and other unnecessary expenses, all caused by the outrageous mismanagement of that organization over many years in the past.
Rez

Round Lake, IL

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#2
Feb 19, 2013
 
Couldnt agree more. Mybiggest problem is that nohing is being said abut the level of care they provide, nohin said about training their volunteer better. All they are doing is cleaning up a mess tht should have never happened they are playing catch up.
News Reporter

San Josť, Costa Rica

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#3
Feb 20, 2013
 
I think it's clear that the organization has been mismanaged in the past. But it's important to point out the countless number of lives that have been saved by this organization over the years. The good ARS has done for many years far outweighs the mismanagement concerns. Cities across the nation are well-served by volunteer rescue squads at huge cost savings. Before wishing to eliminate ARS, talk to a taxpayer of a city that lost it's rescue squad for a "paid" rescue service. Taxes are increased, services are reduced, and the community loses. Be careful what you wish for.
AntiochRes

Round Lake, IL

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#4
Feb 20, 2013
 
You are correct about raising taxes and the huge costs associated with it. I would totally support a volunteer department, if they decide to act like a real department instead of closed off, unproffessional, doing what they want. They had, and still have very little sense of pressionalism, or getting onboard with the rest of the public saftey world. No formalized training, people in charge of the dept with little EMS training, and a new Chief who was part of the old regime.
Ant in Antioch

Chicago, IL

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#5
Feb 20, 2013
 
When you're on that stretcher going into the ambulance you think, "I'd pay a little more in taxes to know that this is the best possible care."
Scu ssa me

Antioch, IL

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#6
Feb 20, 2013
 

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News Reporter wrote:
I think it's clear that the organization has been mismanaged in the past. But it's important to point out the countless number of lives that have been saved by this organization over the years. The good ARS has done for many years far outweighs the mismanagement concerns. Cities across the nation are well-served by volunteer rescue squads at huge cost savings. Before wishing to eliminate ARS, talk to a taxpayer of a city that lost it's rescue squad for a "paid" rescue service. Taxes are increased, services are reduced, and the community loses. Be careful what you wish for.
Isn't this interesting? The owner of the PR firm representing the ARS lives in San Jose Costa Rica. Could this be from him? If so, nice try. 95% of the towns in Illinois have a consolidated fire/rescue squad. Most used to have independent operations in the day. That day has long since come and gone and the modern approach is to have a single command structure and full cross utilization, with total transparency on everything from finances to metrics. Throwing out scare tactics to serve a client is not going to fly and is repulsive. I attended the last village board meeting and it is quite clear that an objective look will occur relative to all options, including finances. In the final analysis, my money and my faith is with them, not with some mouthpiece for a failed organization that has operated in secrecy for decades. Perhaps this post should be added to the pile of problems the ARS is facing.
Scu ssa me

Antioch, IL

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#7
Feb 20, 2013
 
AntiochRes wrote:
You are correct about raising taxes and the huge costs associated with it. I would totally support a volunteer department, if they decide to act like a real department instead of closed off, unproffessional, doing what they want. They had, and still have very little sense of pressionalism, or getting onboard with the rest of the public saftey world. No formalized training, people in charge of the dept with little EMS training, and a new Chief who was part of the old regime.
Don't assume that costs will go up. I believe there is a high probability they won't. Remember that the AFD has a significant number of qualified EMT's that could replace the outside EMT contractor firm that costs a great deal of money for every head they supply ARS.
AntiochRes

Round Lake, IL

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#8
Feb 20, 2013
 
Scu ssa me wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't assume that costs will go up. I believe there is a high probability they won't. Remember that the AFD has a significant number of qualified EMT's that could replace the outside EMT contractor firm that costs a great deal of money for every head they supply ARS.
You are correct, however they would still need to purchase ambulances, and increase staffing to man those ambulances. I dont think it would be a huge increase. It would be better in the long run too because then the FD can use those fund from EMS billing to perhaps staff station 3, cutting response times.

The ambulances ARS own would not go to the FD either. They would be sold off and the money goes to the VFW and a few other ARS supporters. ARS would never just hand over the ambulances to AFD, and who would want them. They are almost 10 years old, and in horrible condition.
ARS Mess

Lake Villa, IL

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#9
Feb 21, 2013
 
Scu ssa me wrote:
<quoted text>Isn't this interesting? The owner of the PR firm representing the ARS lives in San Jose Costa Rica. Could this be from him? If so, nice try. 95% of the towns in Illinois have a consolidated fire/rescue squad. Most used to have independent operations in the day. That day has long since come and gone and the modern approach is to have a single command structure and full cross utilization, with total transparency on everything from finances to metrics. Throwing out scare tactics to serve a client is not going to fly and is repulsive. I attended the last village board meeting and it is quite clear that an objective look will occur relative to all options, including finances. In the final analysis, my money and my faith is with them, not with some mouthpiece for a failed organization that has operated in secrecy for decades. Perhaps this post should be added to the pile of problems the ARS is facing.
Totally agree. More attempts at manipulation by the rescue squad and their "hired guns". Where is the money coming from to pay for this and all of the fines and lawsuits? Anybody who uses them. What crap.
mr idea

Dowagiac, MI

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#10
Feb 21, 2013
 
ARS Mess wrote:
<quoted text>Totally agree. More attempts at manipulation by the rescue squad and their "hired guns". Where is the money coming from to pay for this and all of the fines and lawsuits? Anybody who uses them. What crap.
I'm sure they have insurance that covers lawsuits just like every other municipality and private companies.
Scu ssa me

Antioch, IL

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#11
Feb 21, 2013
 
mr idea wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm sure they have insurance that covers lawsuits just like every other municipality and private companies.
So it's your belief that ARS has incurred no expense, and apparently no lost management time and no financial problems/impact of any kind as a result of this. All covered by insurance including the fines and attorney and PR costs. Is that really what you think? Further, do you really believe an insurance company would have settled lawsuits so quickly?

With no disrespect intended, that is pretty naive on your part.
mr idea

Dowagiac, MI

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#13
Feb 21, 2013
 
Scu ssa me wrote:
<quoted text>So it's your belief that ARS has incurred no expense, and apparently no lost management time and no financial problems/impact of any kind as a result of this. All covered by insurance including the fines and attorney and PR costs. Is that really what you think? Further, do you really believe an insurance company would have settled lawsuits so quickly?

With no disrespect intended, that is pretty naive on your part.
Haha ok! Well since you jumped to conclusions I was merely saying the payout is covered with insurance if they had that proper insurance which I would assume they do. The rest of the stuff I'm sure they did pay out of the squads money.
Scu ssa me

Antioch, IL

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#14
Feb 21, 2013
 

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AntiochR wrote:
ARS has no insurance for lawsuits and such. The ambulances are insured through a local place in town where Mr. Smouse works. Everything ARS gets is from people in town taking care of them
Hmmmm. Isn't Mr. Smouse selling insurance to this outfit a potential conflict of interest? Sounds like that needs to be investigated by the State's Attorney as well. Let's hope for him that he can prove he never made a penny from selling the organization he controlled insurance offered by his company. Just a shame that these guys operated behind a stone wall when it came to revealing anything. Now everything is fair game for questioning.
Scu ssa me

Antioch, IL

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#15
Feb 21, 2013
 

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mr idea wrote:
<quoted text>
Haha ok! Well since you jumped to conclusions I was merely saying the payout is covered with insurance if they had that proper insurance which I would assume they do. The rest of the stuff I'm sure they did pay out of the squads money.
I understand. I guess you are referring to errors and omissions insurance. That would probably cover some of the lawsuit payouts, maybe. But my point remains that insurance companies would drag something like this on for years. Seems to me there was a payoff to get this out of the news and behind the former leadership. Any way you cut it, going belly up on lawsuits is never a sign of a strong defense, and may mean they feared even bigger payouts if the cases went to court. Dolly Speiering's donation to ARS must be getting smaller by the day. Do you think that was what she intended the money to be used for, if it is? If it is, I personally think that if she were still alive, she would be outraged.
Mystery Man

Villa Park, IL

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#16
Feb 21, 2013
 

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Scu ssa me wrote:
<quoted text>
Hmmmm. Isn't Mr. Smouse selling insurance to this outfit a potential conflict of interest? Sounds like that needs to be investigated by the State's Attorney as well. Let's hope for him that he can prove he never made a penny from selling the organization he controlled insurance offered by his company. Just a shame that these guys operated behind a stone wall when it came to revealing anything. Now everything is fair game for questioning.
Everything that this service has done is a conflick of interest. They ( village ) should audit every member of the management of that outfit.
mr idea

Dowagiac, MI

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#17
Feb 22, 2013
 
Scu ssa me wrote:
<quoted text>I understand. I guess you are referring to errors and omissions insurance. That would probably cover some of the lawsuit payouts, maybe. But my point remains that insurance companies would drag something like this on for years. Seems to me there was a payoff to get this out of the news and behind the former leadership. Any way you cut it, going belly up on lawsuits is never a sign of a strong defense, and may mean they feared even bigger payouts if the cases went to court. Dolly Speiering's donation to ARS must be getting smaller by the day. Do you think that was what she intended the money to be used for, if it is? If it is, I personally think that if she were still alive, she would be outraged.
If something horrible happened to me though or my family I wouldn't settle. They got 10% of what they were asking, and they didn't have to settle. They could of rejected it. So it doesn't make much sense to me I guess on settling. I'm sure ARS did cause they were never going to stop until they got something. So when you step back it sounds like greed rather than justice, cause they took that money and bolted.
ARS Mess

Wessington Springs, SD

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#18
Feb 22, 2013
 
mr idea wrote:
<quoted text>If something horrible happened to me though or my family I wouldn't settle. They got 10% of what they were asking, and they didn't have to settle. They could of rejected it. So it doesn't make much sense to me I guess on settling. I'm sure ARS did cause they were never going to stop until they got something. So when you step back it sounds like greed rather than justice, cause they took that money and bolted.
Have you seen the accusations they made? You should. They are public record. Of course they are just accusations, but they are stunning if true. Why they settled is anybody's guess, but in my judgement,$155 K is not a small sum. If ARS was not culpable, why would they pay such a large amount so quickly? And the question remains, where did they get the money for that and all the rest that has been squandered?
mr idea

Dowagiac, MI

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#19
Feb 22, 2013
 
ARS Mess wrote:
<quoted text>Have you seen the accusations they made? You should. They are public record. Of course they are just accusations, but they are stunning if true. Why they settled is anybody's guess, but in my judgement,$155 K is not a small sum. If ARS was not culpable, why would they pay such a large amount so quickly? And the question remains, where did they get the money for that and all the rest that has been squandered?
I think they would pay to finally get them to stop. I mean honestly if that stuff truly was done, I would fight for justice cause its what's right. Just makes it seem like they wanted money and bolted. It is what it is and it's over, now lets just see what ARS does after this. They are trying to doing something positive and they volunteer, and continuously get ridiculed for no money.. That at least says something!
ars

Dowagiac, MI

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#21
Feb 23, 2013
 
AntiochR wrote:
There are good people at the rescue squad, and I'm sure alot of this was blown up by the media ( they always do). The problem is, alot of it was true also, and the fact that ARS is a mess, doesnt play nice with other departments, and dont guve good care. ARS needs to be redone from start to finish, new chief, not the old deputy chief who was part of this mess, and probably knew all about it.
I'm a female that used to be on the rescue squad for a few years. While I was on ARS I never saw anything that everyone says happens. If I had, I would be the first person to come forward. People are going to say what they want but I know I haven't any of that stuff happen. I would think it would be a huge ordeal with the membership if it did, and not the officers just the volunteers in general.
ARS Mess

Wessington Springs, SD

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#22
Feb 23, 2013
 
ars wrote:
<quoted text>I'm a female that used to be on the rescue squad for a few years. While I was on ARS I never saw anything that everyone says happens. If I had, I would be the first person to come forward. People are going to say what they want but I know I haven't any of that stuff happen. I would think it would be a huge ordeal with the membership if it did, and not the officers just the volunteers in general.
I do not think the sexual harassment issues were widespread. They appear to have been limited to just a few idiots. The rest of the problem was the subsequent management cover up/ failure to react properly which the IDPH investigated and cited. If the ARS issues were limited to just this, the resolution would have been relatively simple. They were not and they are not. An organization run in secret by managers who did not manage. They are now trying desperately to hold on to what is left. Why? Time for the professionally run, transparent, and accountable fire dept to take over. None of the issues would have been tolerated or occurred if Antioch had a modern EMS program.

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