Fire Chief John O’Conner of Lockport Township Fire Protection District has put forth a plan to load-share COVID-19 patients from Stateville Correctional Center. The idea is to not overburden one hospital due to a mandate that requires EMS to transport patients to the closest hospital despite their capacity.

The plan requires getting real time information on the availability of ICU beds from area hospitals and provide that info to the resource hospital which is Silver Cross Hospital for region 7 in Will County. O’Conner says, “Silver Cross would be able to direct EMS providers where the most appropriate facility to send a COVID patient instead of the closest.”

The good news is that transports to St. Joseph Hospital have gone down last week. Will County’s ability to provide ICU beds is second to lowest in Illinois in providing ICU beds at just under 21%. While Rockford’s ability to provide ICU beds is nearly 69%.

O’Conner’s plan has yet to receive the ok from Deputy Governor Christian Mitchell.

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