Medical Emergency in Traffic on Palatine Road West of Route 53 Near Palatine, Arlington Heights Border

Approximate location of medical emergency on Palatine Road in Palatine assigned to Arlington Heights firefighters and paramedics (Map data ©2021 Google)
Approximate location of medical emergency on Palatine Road in Palatine assigned to Arlington Heights firefighters and paramedics (Map data ©2021 Google).

Police and firefighters and paramedics from Arlington Heights responded about 9:34 a.m. Sunday, January 24, 2021 to a report of an unresponsive male in a vehicle on Palatine Road near Route 53 in Arlington Heights. Dispatchers were giving CPR instructions during the call, and extra fire personnel were dispatched to the scene by 9:41 a.m. for an Advanced Life Support call.

A male patient was transported to Northwest Community Hospital by Arlington Heights Fire Department paramedics. Outside the circle of first responders, his condition was initially unknown.


Arlington Heights police, firefighters and paramedics were assigned to the call because the location was initially reported closer to Palatine Road and Route 53, but apparently the medical emergency was actually in Palatine city limits, and possibly even closer to Winston Drive in Palatine about one block away from Palatine Fire Station 83 at 987 East Palatine Road. The Arlington Heights Fire Department response was assigned to Fire Station 2 at a distance of over 2.5 miles away.

Palatine Fire Department had not had any calls since 8:00 a.m. Sunday.

Seconds and minutes with the treatment of a defibrillator can make the difference between life and death when cardiac arrest or life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia is involved in a medical emergency. Initially, it was unknown whether today’s medical emergency on Palatine Road involved cardiac arrest or a deadly cardiac arrhythmia.

To help with locating an emergency incident, 9-1-1 telecommunicators can received Phase 1 (older technology) and Phase 2 (newer and better technology) from cell phones via their cell phone company. Phase 2 is supposed to provide the exact latitude and longitude of a cell phone caller’s location.

In 2016, WINK-TV (CBS affiliate in Fort Myers) found that cell phones and cell phone companies don’t always provide an accurate plot of the location origin of 9-1-1 calls. WINK-TV also discovered in one test that cell phone location plotting with outdoor calls were more accurate than indoor calls in the same proximity. At least one AT&T cell-phone location was plotted a mile and a half from the actual location.

With the help of two local dispatch centers, Call for Action investigators tested three cell phone companies: AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. The first test was in the Charlotte County dispatch center and we called 911 from all three cell phones from inside the center. The Sprint and Verizon brought up our phase one location, or the location of the nearest tower. The AT&T phone did not have a signal and could not call. Then our investigators walked right outside the dispatch center and tried again. The Sprint and Verizon phone brought up my exact location; however, the AT&T phone told the dispatcher I was a mile and a half from where I was actually standing.

— WINK Reporter Lindsey Sablan | Why cell phone location isn’t always accurate for 911 calls

According to WINK-TV, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has required cell phone companies to improve location accuracy in regards to 911 calls. The new rules require the carrier provide an exact location within 50 meters. Previously, cell phone companies had to plot cell phone locations within 150 to 300 meters. The new FCC rules also required 40-percent of cell phone calls meet the 50-meter standard by 2017, and 80-percent of calls to meet the 50-meter standard by 2022.

The AT&T network, incidentally, was chosen in March 2017 for the United States public safety broadband and communications network known as FirstNet (The First Responder Network Authority). FirstNet is being designed and constructed to establish, operate, and maintain an interoperable public safety broadband network. To fulfill these objectives, Congress allotted $7 billion and 20 MHz of radio spectrum to build the network.

The information in this article is an early report published before any summary information was confirmed or released by police or fire authorities.


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(Possibly an official publication of FirstNet, but wasn’t specifically stated in the About section for

Approximate location of medical emergency on Palatine Road in Palatine assigned to Arlington Heights firefighters and paramedics (Map data ©2021 Google)
Approximate location of medical emergency on Palatine Road in Palatine assigned to Arlington Heights firefighters and paramedics (Map data ©2021 Google).

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