The 20 Year History of EMS in Plainfield

In the late spring of 1978 the future of Emergency Medical Services in the Plainfield area seemed cloudy, if not quite grim. Van Overman, who operated the only ambulance service, announced that he was terminating the service on October 1, 1978. Finally in July, the Plainfield Township Board appointed a committee to study the ambulance question and come up with a solution. With no other group showing interest, Plainfield Emergency Services and Disaster Agency, a department of the Village of Plainfield, presented a resolution to the Township Board showing interest in providing personnel and organization, but were without any means of funding. With excess Federal Revenue Sharing Funds not already allocated, the Township Supervisor presented a proposal to the Board to use these funds to assist in the operation of the ambulance service. The Plainfield Township Board agreed and entered into a contract with Plainfield ESDA to provide ambulance service for the Township. Mr. Overman agreed to sell both of his ambulances and all of their equipment for $10,000. The next sixty days proved to be quite hectic as many hours were spent working on a budget, establishing policies and procedures and preparing for a start date of October 1st.

As the date drew near for the changeover, things began to fall into place and on Sunday, October 1, 1978 Plainfield ESDA began to provide ambulance service for Plainfield Township. By the middle of the month Wheatland Township had requested that Plainfield ESDA provide ambulance service for the portion of the township that was not being serviced. By the end of the month the Plainfield Fire Protection District requested that ESDA cover the remaining portion of their district. With the inclusion of the district, ESDA was soon responsible for providing emergency medical services for 82 square miles and a population of 20,000 on an annual budget of $50,000 plus revenue from patient billing.

In November of 1982 the taxpayers of the Plainfield Fire Protection District voted YES on a referendum establishing an ambulance tax levy. Thus, after five years an ambulance district was formed. In March 1983 ESDA and the Fire District signed a contract to provide ambulance service for the Fire District and allow the Fire District to assume financial responsibility.

On January 1, 1984 the Emergency Medical Services Division of ESDA formed their own corporation separating themselves from Village operations. The new corporation, entitled the Plainfield Fire Protection District Ambulance Department, Inc., then contracted its services to the Plainfield Fire District.

The service, not a part of the Fire Department, is comprised of 24 Paramedics, EMT-Is, and EMT-Bs providing advanced life support emergency care to the residents of the Fire District. At this time, the department operates three well-equiped Advanced Life Support ambulances, a 1988 GMC Wheeled Coach Modular, a 1992 GMC McCoy-Miller Modular, and a 1998 Horton Navistar Modular. Whereas the ambulance service was previously quartered and dispatched from the Village Hall, it is now located in Fire Station #1 with dispatching being provided by WESCOM communications center from the Plainfield Law Enforcement Center, formerly the Village Hall. At the fire station 2 duty crews are always available 24 hours a day.  Thanks to a much needed tax referendum in November of 2000, the staffing changed to 2 ambulances staffed 24 hours a day working  a 24-48 shift rotation.