Lt. Gov. Simon creating panel to improve EMS access

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is now accepting applications for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) subcommittee of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council (GRAC), which will work to improve EMS services throughout rural Illinois.

The subcommittee is charged with identifying barriers to providing adequate EMS service in rural Illinois. Among those challenges are long ambulance response times that put patients at risk and recruiting and retaining the qualified emergency medical service personnel necessary to provide life-saving care to citizens in need.

“Rural Illinois faces many challenging obstacles in the effort to provide timely and necessary emergency response services,” Simon said. “This subcommittee will bring together a devoted group of volunteers that will ensure all Illinois citizens have access to the care they require.”

The EMS subcommittee will also join GRAC members and Simon in participating in the upcoming legislative hearings on EMS issues held by the House EMS Taskforce. The legislative panel is holding public hearings across the state and will make legislative recommendations upon completion of their hearings at the end of the year.

Applicants to the subcommittee must have experience working for or on behalf of an EMS organization serving a rural population or must be from a rural area serviced by an EMS organization. Applications can be found at and must be submitted to by Wednesday, October 12, 2011.

Simon serves as chair of the 25-member GRAC which is tasked with improving delivery of state services to rural Illinois and expanding opportunities and enhancing the quality of life for rural residents. The council holds quarterly public meetings across the state.