SPRINGFIELD– The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program are honoring the Lake Zurich Fire Department with a special pediatric care Community Service Award for its contributions to childhood care. The Ron W. Lee, M.D. – Excellence in Pediatric Care Awards are given annually by IDPH and EMSC to recognize those dedicated to pediatric emergency care and childhood injury prevention initiatives. Individuals or organizations can be nominated in one of three award categories - Lifetime Achievement, Clinical Excellence, and Community Service.
When responding to a vehicle crash between a personal vehicle and a critical pediatric transport ambulance earlier this year, Lake Zurich Fire Department crew members learned that the 6-year-old girl inside the ambulance, who is dependent on a ventilator, was on her way to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for a necessary appointment. The critical pediatric transport ambulance was not able to finish the transport due to the crash, so the Lake Zurich crew reviewed two options. They could either wait for a replacement critical transport ambulance, at least an hour, or transport the child to the nearest hospital. Both options would result in this child missing her appointment. With the backing of Lake Zurich Fire Department leadership, the crew, who is trained in advanced pediatric emergency medical services, made the decision to make the 80-mile round trip to Chicago to ensure this girl didn’t miss her appointment.
“The crew felt it was in the best interest of the patient to continue the transport themselves. The crew was comfortable with this decision, and felt they could handle any situation that may arise,” said Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital EMS Coordinator Elizabeth Keane M.S.N., R.N., P.H.R.N. “Lake Zurich Fire Department is highly trained for pediatric patients. The crew felt it was the ‘right’ choice for the patient and her family.”
“The Lake Zurich Fire Department crew went above and beyond its normal duties,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Not every EMS crew would have taken the time to transport this child to Chicago, and for their dedication and compassion, I am honored to award the Lake Zurich Fire Department with the Ron W. Lee, M.D. Excellence in Pediatric Care Community Service Award.”
The Ron W. Lee, M.D. Excellence in Pediatric Care awards are presented each May. Dr. Lee was the medical director for the Division of Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety at IDPH, as well as the director of emergency medicine at Loyola University Medical Center and was instrumental in establishing and fostering the EMSC program in Illinois. He passed away in 1998.
The Illinois EMSC program is a collaborative effort between IDPH and Loyola University Chicago. It was established in 1994 to ensure the emergency medical care needs of children are adequately addressed.