CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Fire Department paramedic is no longer having any contact with patients, after officials discovered he had been working 14 months without a license.
It was a discovery made just a couple of weeks ago, and the Fire Department has been scrambling to correct the situation.
Fire Department Spokesman Larry Langford said the paramedic is still working, but is not having contact with patients until he can get licensed again.
The Fire Department said the error was a simple case of the paramedic not receiving his license renewal reminder in the mail.
Langford said the paramedic has to re-take the licensing exam, and cannot simply renew because so much time has gone by. He said the Fire Department feels it must be proactive to ensure paramedics are all licensed.
The department has been asking paramedics for proof of their licenses, and Langford said the city is setting up a software system that will remind paramedics when their licenses need to be renewed.
Langford said supervisors will also conduct regular license checks.
Asked if the Fire Department was concerned about lawsuits that might be filed against the city from patients treated by the paramedic during his 14 unlicensed months, Langford said, “people litigate against you under the best of circumstances. Our primary job is patient care.”