"Proudly Serving Southwestern Illinois Since 1981" 1-800-426-9281

www.medstarems.net

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About Us

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MedStar Ambulance is a growing and dynamic company that began in 1981 serving Randolph County.  Since 1981 we have made many changes including moving our corporate office to a new location and increased presence in Randolph, St. Clair and Clinton Counties

History of MedStar Ambulance

In 1981, Charles and Deborah Kelley, to young, naive farm kids, purchased three ambulances and a radio system from Hill & Son Funeral Home. They moved the radio into a bedroom of their Sparta, IL home on August 1.

During the transition from funeral home to private ambulance service, there were many obstacles along the way. The major one being there was not enough revenue produced with the number of calls to support the cost of providing the service to those in need.

In 1985, Charles Kelley approached the Randolph County Board of Commissioners with the proposal of taking over the County service. The Commissioners opted, instead to put a special referendum out to the voters to fund the most successful bidder. The referendum passed by an over-whelming vote. The Sparta - Steeleville - Chester - Red Bud Emergency Services was the successful bidder.

During this time, the Sparta - Steeleville - Chester - Red Bud Emergency Services developed the "Advanced Life Support" level of services for the citizens of Randolph County. On the very first day, when the new service was approved, Sparta - Steeleville - Chester - Red Bud Emergency Services had a "save" of a full arrest patient in Sparta.

With their reputation growing the Sparta - Steeleville - Chester - Red Bud Emergency Services began to cultivate the north - into the Metro -East area by doing transfers between the area hospitals.

In 1987, before adding any more locations, Charlie and Deborah Kelley's sons, Chuck and Michael derived a 'new' name for the service while out on a weekend drive. MedStar became a name synonymous with the phrase: 'quality ambulance service.'

By 1988, MedStar began renting a base facility in the St. Clair County area that is currently known as the Fairview Heights Base. Soon after, because of MedStar's glowing reputation for quality service they were approached by city and county official in the surrounding communities to consider adding those locales to MedStar's service area.

MedStar's moves began in 1989 when MedStar moved into Swansea; in 1991, E. Belleville and Cahokia were added; in 1994, Carlyle; in 1998, Freeburg; in 2000, Lebanon; and in 2001, E. St Louis - Washington Park were added. For a brief time, MedStar did have a 1989 and a 1990 location in Fairmont City.

Back in 1981, at the beginning of the Kelley's ambulance enterprise, they only had two full-time employees along with several part-time 'paid per call' employees. Charlie continued to work at Spartan Printing while also taking Paramedic classes. But, as can be seen by the expansion of MedStar, they Kelley's began hiring other full-time employees as MedStar continued expanding and upgrading the level of care provided to the communities they serve.

Today, MedStar has 179 employees; 127 are full-time. MedStar has been a training ground for some who pursued medical careers in nursing and doctoring. Many an EMT or Paramedic came through the MedStar doors and left to continue their education whether it be in the medical field or whether it be as business owners, EMS instructors, elected officials, police officers along with several nurses and two doctors.

MedStar Ambulance recently signed an agreement with 375th Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base to provide emergency services at the base. This service is a trial run of military and community services working together; it could also be implemented at other bases around the United States sometime in the future.

While it is always sad to see some of them go, it was also a comfort to them that they had provided their communities with successful, responsible, knowledgeable, professionals who worked hard to make their communities better. These employees view it as a "Gift" to society.

Their commitment and belief in improving mortality in the communities served was further advanced when they began doing Pre-Arrival Instructions over the phone during the dispatch phase of a call in 1988; they began teaching APCO 9-1-1- and Medical Priority Dispatch classes to other agencies in and around their service communities-as well as-it should be noted-throughout the United States.

Today, this dispatch center is the 1st Accredited Emergency Medical Dispatch Center in Illinois and the 59th in the world.

MedStar's belief in the need for this kind of service was carried further by actively participating legislatively in developing some of the EMS rules, regulations, and protocols that all MES providers must follow today. And MedStar continues to stay active by not only improving and developing the standards of how EMS is provided not only locally, but in the State of Illinois and the United States.

MedStar's fundamental belief is that their ultimate daily mission is to provide excellent patient care with the correct response time with the best qualified employees who will strive to improve the quality of life, decrease mortality, and decrease suffering for every citizen residing in or visiting the communities MedStar proudly serves.

This is why MedStar's Mission statement fits so well: "MedStar Ambulance is a team dedicated to providing compassionate, personalized care when seconds count."

MedStar more than lives their mission statement; they carry it with them when they respond to natural disasters whether they be the 2005 MedStar team response to victims of both Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita. Or, just this past spring, two MedStar employees, after loading a shooting victim into the ambulance to initiate care while on the way to the nearest medical facility, found themselves being shot at too. This incident is a prime example as to how EMTs put their lives on the line daily in order to provide that quality care the public has come to expect. Yet, the MedStar employees rose to the occasion, and safely got the patient and themselves to the medical facility in order to receive the care necessary.

The latter incident also was another step for MedStar owners to call for more safety standards for their employees from the communities they serve. According to My FOX 2, Charles Kelley requested "more security after one of his medics was shot while on duty earlier this week. Friday morning MedStar hosted an annual Bar-B-Q for local police and fire departments. Kelley is hoping to use the opportunity to ask for more protection for his ambulance workers when transporting crime victims. Kelley says he is concerned about today's society and wants to do everything possible to keep first responders safe at all times."

Charles and Deborah Kelley will be the first to tell folks that they did not accomplish all of this alone; they attribute their 27 years of business as a result of the help of every employee, past and present, business associates, elected officials, and the support and commitment from the many citizens from the communities MedStar serves who helped them achieve along with the grace of God.

 

 

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P.O. Box 296 Sparta, IL 62286
©2003 MedStar Ambulance Inc.