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Ambulance Department History

Serving Southern Illinois Since 1978

Monroe County Ambulance was established as a public service in 1978. After funeral home directors announced that they would discontinue serving as emergency transportation, a committee was formed to develop a service that would provide the residents of Monroe County with the best emergency medical care possible.

Through the assistance of grants from Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Transportation, three ambulances were purchased and equipped. A public meeting was held to not only inform the community of the new ambulance service, but also to recruit volunteers to staff the new ambulances.

There were 45 eager volunteers that would be invited to attend a First Aid Class and then an EMT class. Our first ambulances and staff were equipped to handle first aid, wounds, burns, cardiac arrests (with manual CPR) and bleeding control. Our resource hospital, Belleville Memorial, provided mutual aid paramedic assistance when necessary.

In the early 80’s, most of the volunteers decided to further their certification to become Intermediates and by the mid 80’s, when Belleville Memorial discontinued their mutual aid paramedic program, some of the volunteers were certified paramedics. Monroe County ambulances would then be up-dated and equipped to provide Advanced Life Support with defibrillators, drugs and other life saving equipment.

After having had several previous locations, Monroe County EMS moved to its current location in November of 1996. The new facility was able to house three ambulances and had two bedrooms (accommodating 4 personnel), a kitchen, a recreation room, offices and some storage. In the latter part of the 90’s, the service had hired both full-time and part-time staff, along with the volunteers, to assure constant coverage on the ambulances.

In June of 2006, Monroe County EMS had become a full-time and part-time staff service only. The volunteers that served with the ambulance were given the opportunity to test and become either full-time or part-time personnel. Over the years, more than 150 individuals had volunteered their time and energy to protect the well-being of our residents. Today, Monroe County EMS runs two fully-staffed paramedic trucks at all times to cover 339 square miles.

The changes over the last 29 years have been immense. With the growth of the county (from 19,200 in 1980 to 30,400 in 2007), the ambulance service has also grown to accommodate the community that it serves, becoming one of the most professional, innovative and respected EMS services in Southern Illinois.

Contact Ambulance Services

Carla Heise, Director Monroe County EMS

901 Illinois St., Ste. C, Waterloo, IL 62298
Tel: 618-939-6175, Fax: 618-939-4141, ems@monroecountyil.gov