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Testimony: Proposed alcohol and drug treatment center would impact ambulance calls

ST. CHARLES – If a proposed alcohol and drug treatment center is permitted at a former boys’ school, the ambulance calls to a local fire district would increase by 120 to 150 a year, according to testimony Monday.

Maxxam Partners LLC is seeking a special-use permit from the Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals to convert the former Glenwood School for Boys, at 41W400 Silver Glen Road, into a 120-bed private pay, luxury treatment center. 

At the continued hearing, Robert Handley, board president of the Fox River and Countryside Fire Protection District, said he based his estimate by comparing similar facilities in other areas. 

“We are out-of-quarters for at least three hours from the time of dispatch to time of arrival” at the hospital, Handley said. “We can’t just drop them [patients] off and say, ‘Goodbye.’ There is a transfer of patient care.”

In 2015, the fire district had 896 calls for emergency medical service and 489 calls for fire service, officials said.

Handley said one ambulance down for three hours would strain the district’s ability to serve other residents. Handley said the district would have to rely on other departments, which would charge out-of-district fees, Handley said.

“And presumably the response time would be increased.” Handley said. “They would have to wait for an ambulance. It has a ripple effect.”

Handley testified that additional calls also cause wear and tear on the ambulances.

Maxxam attorney Keith Brown said a recipient of emergency services could get a bill for as much as $2,730, based on fees.

After more than an hour of testimony, Brown said the petitioner promises to pay 100 percent of fire district calls to the facility.

“That would be great,” Handley said.

Officials said that if necessary, the hearing would be continued to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Kane County Branch Court, 530 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

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