if a resident in the Harlem-Roscoe Fire Protection District had a heart attack or was injured in an accident in the 1940s they had to wait for an ambulance to arrive from the nearby cities of Rockford or Beloit. The wait could be up to an hour.

The 1970s saw major advancements in emergency medical care with the introduction of Emergency Medical Service (EMS).

in 1979 New Paramedic Oscar Presley helped Harlem-Roscoe Fire became the first “volunteer” department in the area to have a Paramedic.

The 1980s saw the department’s first “trauma unit” ambulance. Advances in technology exploded over the next thirty-five years and today the department operates four Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances equipped with state-of-the art equipment.

Medical emergencies account for over 70% of the department’s total emergency calls. Emergency ambulance service is fee-free for residents of the fire district, and they will also respond to neighboring communities for mutual aid as requested and available.

Currently, every 24 hours the department fills 18 positions, three are 24-hour and 15 are 12-hour duration. Each station has a three person, ‘Jump Company’ that can jump between a fire engine and an ambulance, depending on the type of emergency call we receive. To accommodate the filling of these positions, they employ nine contracted full-time paramedic/firefighters who work 24 hour shifts along with 61 part-time personnel.

Every month firefighters volunteer and sign up to fill the time slots for these day/night positions. Most of our firefighters have full-time jobs outside of the department and carry pagers which are activated when we receive a call. At that time, they respond to their stations and assist with the emergency.” In 2014 the department had 22 Paramedics and 22 EMTs.

The department continues today to stay on top of new technology. They currently use a Phillips MRX monitor defibrillator that uses industry-leading patient monitoring capabilities and more diagnostic measurements such as checking a patient’s carbon dioxide level. The cost for each unit is now over $20,000 and each ambulance must have one.

The rapid changes in cell phone technology have also been a challenge to stay ahead of and the ambulances are now Wi-Fi hot spots and computers and medical devices all connect via Bluetooth.

The department also currently has several Chaplains to respond day or night. They may help the victims at the emergency scenes by comforting their family, helping them with transportation, finding shelter or food, or helping make phone calls. They not only help on our emergency scenes but are available to the department’s personnel in their times of need.


1. Patients have the right to receive and review a copy of HRFPD Health Information Privacy Policy.
2. Patients may request that certain information not be disclosed to designated parties.
3. Patients may request that they be contacted only at a designated alternative address other than their home address.
4. Patients may make reasonable request of HRFPD as to time and place for a copy of their Protected Health Information (PHI), subject to a copying and mailing expense fee.
5. Patients have the right to request a correction of actual errors in the PHI.
6. Patients have the right, upon request, to be informed of disclosures of PHI by court orders, investigations and subpoenas.
7. Patients have a right to revoke, in writing, prior consents to disclosure of PHI.
8. Parents of minors or legal guardians can sign the release or acknowledgment of Notice of Disclosure form for their children and/or legal wards.


  1. No member of the HRFPD shall disclose any Patient's Health Information in violation of the patient's privacy rights.
  2. All patients shall be asked to sign the HRFPD Notice of Disclosure, Release of Medical Information, and Notice of HRFPD Protected Health Information (PHI) Privacy Police form, hereinafter referred to as the PHI form. If a patient refuses to sign or is unable to sign the PHI form, a witness should be obtained in writing to the request to sign and refusal or inability to sign by the patient. If the patient is advised of the PHI Notice and Policy and refuses to sign or is unable to sign before a witness in writing, they still have received the PHI notice.
  3. All signed or witnessed PHI documents must be retained for six years. All PHI documents must be maintained in lockable and secure storage.
  4. The parent of a minor child or guardian of a legally disabled patient may sign the PHI form on behalf of the patient.
  5. All disclosure of patient PHI shall be limited to persons and business associates (BA) within HRFPD treatment, payment and healthcare operation (TPO) and shall be based upon notice or consent obtained prior to providing care, except for the following circumstances where disclosure of health information may be made for TPO purposes prior to obtaining written consent or notice:
    • In the case of an emergency as determined by the healthcare provider on the scene, using his or her "professional judgment" as defined and included in the Department of Health and Human Services HIPAA Standards: "Healthcare providers must exercise professional judgment to determine whether obtaining a written consent (or now a signed notice) would interfere with the timely delivery of necessary healthcare. If, based on professional judgment, a provider reasonably believes at the time the patient presents for treatment that a delay involved in obtaining the patient's written consent of use or disclosure of information would compromise the patient's care, the provider may use or disclose PHI that was obtained during the emergency treatment, without prior consent, to carry out TPO."; or
    • When required by law, such as in the case of receipt of lawful subpoena or court order of proper jurisdiction; or
    • When there are substantial communication barriers.
      Notwithstanding the above exceptions to prior notice or consent, the provider must attempt to obtain written acknowledgment of notice and consent as soon as reasonably practicable after the provision of treatment.
  6. HRFPD must secure prior authorization to disclose PHI to a patient's employer or attorney before disclosure.
  7. All disclosures, when made, are to disclose the least amount of PHI necessary for the purpose.
  8. Any PHI used for training purposes, or given as an example, must be de-identified by removal of the patient's name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, dates of treatment, telephone/fax numbers, invoice/account number, health insurance number, driver's or vehicle license numbers, codes, pictures, fingerprints, or any other identifying features or information.
  9. No disclosure to any business associate (BA) shall be made without a prior written contract between HRFPD and the BA obligating that BA to fully comply with the Privacy Policy and insure nondisclosure of PHI except for purposes of compliance with the TPO and requiring the BA to promptly notify the HRFPD of any violations of that Privacy Policy.
  10. The Fire Chief shall appoint a Privacy Policy Compliance Officer to implement, oversee and train as to the HRFPD Privacy Police. All HRFPD personnel are to receive Privacy Policy training annually appropriate to each person's function with the HRFPD. The Privacy Police Officer shall insure that records of personal privacy training shall be maintained and that PHI records maintained by HRFPD shall be kept secure against unauthorized disclosure.
  11. The Fire Chief shall appoint a Privacy Policy Complaint Officer who shall be designated to receive, document, investigate and resolve complaints alleging violation of patient privacy rights. All violations of the Privacy Policy and resolutions therefore shall be reported in writing to the Fire Chief as soon as practicably possible. Upon receipt of such written report, the Fire Chief shall present said written report to the Board of Trustees in such a form and manner as not to cause further violation of the Privacy Policy.
  12. Any HRFPD personnel found to have violated the Privacy Policy shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions up to and including suspension or discharge as appropriate to the circumstances of the unauthorized disclosure. Such disciplinary action shall be by the majority vote of the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the Fire Chief.
  13. All persons or entities acting as billing agents for HRFPD (Business Associates) shall be provide a copy of this PHI privacy policy and shall be required and expected to conform to the requirements hereof as well as the requirements and spirit of all federal and state laws appertaining to patient's privacy rights. Furthermore, said business associates shall be required to notify HRFPD of any actual or suspected violation of a patient's privacy rights and the privacy policy. Upon notice of violation of patient's privacy rights, the HRFPD shall take action as reasonably necessary and appropriate to avoid future violations.
  14. A copy of this HRFPD Privacy Policy shall be given to each volunteer and, in addition, be posted and kept posted in public view at all times in the general personnel areas of the fire station as well as the HRFPD website, if any.
  15. This Privacy Police shall be in full force and effect immediately upon approval of the HRFPD Board of Trustees.