1,699 Police, Fire Calls to Rivers Casino in First Year
Casino is in the process of training and hiring EMTs.
Some Rivers Casino patrons that need medical attention at the gaming venue may be treated by healthcare providers employed at the casino later this year. The casino’s plans to train and hire emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, will reduce the number of calls the fire department responds to, Fire Chief Alan Wax told public safety committee members at a meeting on July 11.
In an update on public safety calls made to Rivers Casino, 3000 S. River Road since opening, Wax said the fire department responded 232 times from July 15, 2011, to June 30, 2012. He said they estimate approximately 35 to 37 percent of those calls, some of which required basic life support, would not have required the fire department to respond if the casino had EMTs on staff.
Wax said the Des Plaines Fire Department was cooperating with the casino to develop protocols and procedures and to attain status as an emergency management system, or EMS, which they hope will occur in the next few weeks. He said the fire department responds, on average, every day-and-a-half.
“We anticipate once these EMTs are up and running, based on what we’ve seen in the last year, we’ll be up to every two-plus days,” Wax said. “Before it was built we were anticipating a call down there every other day — so, pretty close.”
Acting Police Chief Mike Kozak said police responded to calls at the casino 1,467 times from July 18, 2011 to June 30, 2012. During the same time period, police responded to 60,739 total calls. Des Plaines police spent approximately 2.4 percent of their time at Rivers Casino, he said.
“So as you can see, a small percentage of our time was spent at the casino,” Kozak said.
Kozak said some of the most common reasons for calls, in order of frequency, were criminal trespass, premise checks and lockouts, which is when someone locks their keys in their vehicle.
Kozak said police were teaching casino personnel how to perform lockouts, and the casino was in the process of purchasing equipment in order to perform them. Since the casino opened, police performed 111 lockouts, Kozak said.