ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The increase in crime is putting a strain on Rockford’s emergency responders and the fire department says they’re grateful for the two new ambulances they just received.
The new ambulances appear to have arrived just in time, days before the recent increase in violence which started two weeks ago. Rockford Fire Chief, Derek Bergsten says now that the department has seven emergency vehicles, firefighters have shaved an entire minute off their response time.
“A minute is tremendous is someone is not getting oxygen to their brain tissue, dying in the heart that makes an impact on survivability,” said Chief Bergsten.
Right now, the department receives 50-70 calls a day. If police are also called to the scene for a violent situation, firefighters typically wait until officers go into the location first before they enter which is why responders say it’s important police are able to respond quickly.
Rockford Memorial Hospital has also been very busy this month, taking in gun-shot patients.
“I would say this is one of the worst months I have had in my seven years in the summer at Rockford Memorial, certainly we see an increase in violent crimes,” said Dr. Brian Jokhy with RMH.
Rockford Memorial Hospital says they are equipped to handle the very situations that we’ve seen this month. They say like anywhere, the more trauma patients they take in, the longer the wait is for other ER visits.
Firefighters say they work well with police when they are on scene, watching over each other.