• Home

PAAW is dedicated to healthy, sustainable ambulance and emergency medical service delivery in Wisconsin

Patrick Ryan, PAAW President
>> Read welcome letter

Current News and Information from PAAW

June 20, 2016

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades passes away

Secretary Rhoades was a strong advocate for EMS

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Kitty Rhoades died Saturday in Madison after falling ill last week, Governor Scott Walker announced.

Rhoades became the Department of Health Services secretary in February 2013.  Before joining the health agency in January 2011 as its deputy secretary, Rhoades represented the Hudson area as its Assembly representative from 1999 until 2010.  She was co-chairwoman of the powerful Joint Finance Committee is 2007 and 2008.

According to PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli, "Secretary Rhoades was a friend and strong advocate for emergency medical services for 17 years.  She could fluently discuss the issues.  One of her sons is a volunteer first responder in Minnesota, and through him she felt a connection to EMS".

When serving as Assembly representative, Rhoades was credited with leading the single paramedic legislative effort in the early 2000's.  The eventual law allowed municipalities the option to staff one paramedic per ambulance, not two as was required back then.  "I recall our conversations about this and how she told me she wasn't giving up this fight to help rural Wisconsin residents get paramedic level care", according to Covelli.  He added, "Once the single paramedic bill became law, she shared with me her Assembly counterparts gave her the nickname "bulldog", because she didn't give up on this issue.  Her devotion to state government and interest in advocating for EMS will be missed".  (Picture insert:  Then DHS Deputy Secretary Kitty Rhoades welcomes Stars of Life honorees to the State Capitol in October 2011).

Rhoades, 65 years old and a native of Hudson leaves behind a husband and three adult sons.

June 14, 2016

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast

Community Paramedicine expanding at Milwaukee Fire Dept.

New partnership announced with Children's Community Health Plan

>> Click here to listen now!

This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was streamed live on Tuesday, June 14.

Our guests included Captain Michael Wright with the Milwaukee Fire Department, Interim President Ibrahim Massalha with Hayat Pharmacies, and Director of Health Plan Clinical Services Lynn Kryfke with Children's Community Health Plan.

Milwaukee Fire Department has positioned Community Paramedicine (CP) as a means to be proactive and address its high-utilizer population.  They've focused on committing MFD resources and continuum of patient care, but it hasn't come without its challenges.  In developing their Community Paramedicine program, they have done a remarkable job in creating partnerships in areas they needed expertise, resources and data.  We learned details in how they directly included pharmacy in their care program, and announced a new initiative with Children's Community Health Plan.

Captain Michael Wright and his counter-parts at MFD have championed CP concepts, while staying in their scope of practice, and continue to lay the ground work for others to consider.

The next EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast is Tuesday, June 28 starting at 9:00 a.m. central time.  The topic is EMS Regionalization.  Our guests include Gold Cross Ambulance Executive Director Mark Fredrickson and Dr. Marv Birnbaum, a longtime advocate for EMS Regionalization.

Don't miss a beat of the action - listen to EMS Live in Wisconsin.

June 3, 2016

Wisconsin EMS Office announces listening sessions

The State of Wisconsin EMS Office will be offering Listening Sessions across the state beginning in June, with additional dates and locations to be announced.

According to Wisconsin EMS Director James Newlun in an email sent to providers, "We would like to get your input on what is working, what is not and suggested improvements that can help meet our mission ...to ensure that the highest quality and standards of pre-hospital emergency medical care is available to all citizens of and visitors to Wisconsin".

The first Listening Session will take place on June 20th in Shawano. It will be held in the Community Room of the Shawano City Hall, 127 S. Sawyer Street, Shawano, WI 54166.  >> Click for agenda.

The next Listening Session will take place on June 27th in Fennimore. This one will be held in Rooms 492-493 Southwest Technical College (SWTC) 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809.  >> Click for agenda.

Three more Listening Sessions are planned in other locations with dates to be announced.

June 3, 2016

Standby for Tones Blog
Marcy and Deanna

The officer meets us in the garage, and fills us in. It’s my partner, the medic student I’m precepting today, and myself.

The patient inside is 96 years old and fell around noon. It’s nearly 4pm now, and the officer is concerned about not just the skin tear on the elbow after the fall, he’s concerned about the heat of the house’s interior. He’s worried the patient may have dehydration issues. He tells us that the patient’s wife is a resident of a local nursing home and he always goes to see her at 12:30pm. Every day. For the entire four years since she became a resident there. Today, 12:30 came and went and he did not appear. Staff members became concerned, and went to the house. The officer got them inside, and together the three of them discovered our patient on the floor.

We enter the garage and make our way past the large four door mid 1980s sedan parked sedately inside. Winding our way past paneled walls, we climb the three stairs from the finished garage stall to the vintage kitchen. Spotless. Everything our eyes touch, from the countertops and cabinets of the kitchen, to the antiquated appliances and on into the bedspread visible through the doorway off the kitchen – every single thing is pristine, and centered. Meticulously up kept. Winding our way past more paneling to the front living room of the shotgun home, we find our patient.

And Marcy. And Deanna.  >> Click to read more.

"Standby for Tones" is a monthly blog written by Crystal Wallin, a La Crosse paramedic.  Her stories, written from real life events, bring to light the human experience in having an EMS career and work life.  >> Click to read Crystal's blog.

May 25, 2016

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
HIPAA Compliance:  What's changed?

During the EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast on Tuesday, May 24,
our guest was Jeff Grady, Senior Director with Three Pillars Security Solutions in Madison.

>> Click to listen to this podcast.

HIPAA compliance has moved well past simply handing the patient a HIPAA brochure explaining their rights and getting a signature.  HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Conducting a periodic HIPAA Security Risk Analysis is definitely a required mandate of HIPAA compliance for ambulance services as the organization and its employees and volunteers come in contact with ePHI (electronic patient health information).

The developing best practice is to complete a Security Risk Analysis on an annual basis (or after any significant change in your technology environment) due to some relatively recent pronouncements that apply to those organizations who need to comply with ‘meaningful use’ reporting requirements.  As an example, a clinic in Janesville, Wisconsin received a pre-audit HIPPA letter, dated May 25, 2016, from the Department of Health and Human Services.  >> Click to read the letter they received from HHS.

Some of the questions discussed, include:

  1. HIPAA has been around for quite some time now – what’s changed and why is there a renewed sense of urgency in making sure you’re compliant?
  2. What are some basic differences between meeting compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule as compared to the Privacy Rule of HIPAA?
  3. What is ‘willful neglect’ and why is it critical to avoid the potential of being found in ‘willful neglect’ under HIPAA?
  4. If your Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendor states that they meet HIPAA compliance – does that meet your obligation under HIPAA?
  5. What would be the key steps to make sure that you’re meeting “today’s” HIPAA compliance standards?
Co-hosts include Chris Anderson, Joe Covelli, Patrick Ryan, Dan Williams.  >> Click for more information.
May 23, 2016

Statewide Survey Announced by WI EMS Office

Information collected will be used to identify EMS agency needs and target support and funding.

On May 20, State of Wisconsin EMS Director James Newlun announced the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health and the Wisconsin EMS Section were collaborating to perform a sweeping “snapshot” of EMS in Wisconsin by conducting a statewide survey.

The survey was developed by a national group of EMS providers and partners to assess 18 attributes of a successful ambulance service.  The data from the survey will be used by the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health and the Wisconsin EMS Section to obtain baseline information to better target support and funding.

In his email to EMS professionals Newlun wrote, "We will be transparent with survey results.  We will report state averages, regional numbers, service type results, etc., which will allow your (ambulance) service to benchmark statewide and regional results against similar service types".  The assessment will provide data to help answer some questions that would not be possible with anonymous data.

Every patient transporting EMS/EMT/First Responder provider is encouraged to complete the survey, not just the Service Director. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.

>> Click to start the survey.

May 23, 2016

EMS Grant Writing 101 Virtual Conference in June

The National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health is offering a 3-part “EMS Grant Writing 101 Virtual Conference” in mid to late June.  Rural EMS agencies and other interested partners will learn how to write and submit a complete grant proposal, understand rural relevant data important to EMS and identify funding opportunities.

>> Click for more information and how to register.

EMS Grant Writing 101 Virtual Conference

June 15, 22 & 29, All classes 2:00 to 3:00 central time

Session 1: June 15 - Getting Started: Understanding Need, Collecting Data and Developing Community Support

Session 2: June 22 - Building Your Proposal: Telling Your Story

Session 3: June 29 - Connecting with Funders to Submit a Successful Proposal

May 21, 2016

Adams County ambulance service shut down during state investigation

An Adams County ambulance service has been shut down, leading the county to scramble to cover 911 services.

The State Department of Health Services confirmed there is an investigation into Adams County Emergency Services, a private ambulance company that contracts with eight municipalities in central Adams county for 911 service.

A DHS spokeswoman said the investigation involves several agencies, including the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement. The company was directed to cease operation and not to respond to calls.

>> Click to read more.

May 20, 2016

Call for Comments of Performance Measures for Cardiac Arrest and Stemi

EMS Compass, a national initiative dedicated to creating data and analytic measures for EMS, has released a new set of performance measures for public comment in the areas of cardiac arrest and STEMI.  All members of the EMS community are encouraged to view the measures and provide comments. 
The public comment period for these measures is open through June 3, 2016.

>> Click to provide comment. 

EMS agencies at the local, regional and state levels are encouraged to evaluate these measures immediately and to provide feedback on how important these measures will be for improving patient care and outcomes. Specific questions about the measures should be sent to EMS Compass Project Manager Nick Nudell at nick@nasemso.org.

May 13, 2016

National EMS Memorial Bike Ride Routes Through WI

The 2016 Midwest Route of the National EMS Memorial Bike Ride beginning in Chicago, IL is a special bicycling event to honor and celebrate the lives of EMS providers who were dedicated to EMS or have died while performing their duties. Funds raised during this ride benefit the families of fallen EMS practitioners through the Fallen Angel Fund.

The ride starts in Chicago, IL June 26 and ends June 30 with a Memorial Service at 3:30p at Woodbury Public Safety, 2100 Radio Drive in Woodbury, MN. Routes along the way include Milwaukee, Green Bay and La Crosse, June 26 to 29. This cycling event raises awareness of fallen Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. The week concludes with a memorial service to which all participants, local EMS personnel, and friends and families of the honorees participate. Shuttling of riders and bikes will be done.

>> Click for event information and details.

May 11, 2016

National Stars of Life, Washington D.C.

Chief Deonne Eske Presented with National Star of Life Award

Ashippun Fire and EMS Chief Deonne Eske was presented National Stars of Life honors and recognition at an event in Washington D.C., April 11-13, which was produced by the American Ambulance Association.  At the event, the AAA recognized 103 Stars of Life honorees from 29 states and 90 communities.  Eske was presented her award by AAA President Mike Hall.

According to Eske, “What an amazing, awesome experience at the National Stars of Life awards.  It was a highlight of my EMS and fire career”.

Eske, an EMT-Basic, has been involved in fire and EMS for 33 years.   She has been a volunteer EMT/firefighter, lieutenant, captain and is currently chief. 

Eske was named Wisconsin’s representative to attend the National Stars of Life awards by the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin at its state event this past September.  She advanced from a group of 26 Wisconsin Stars of Life honorees, individuals nominated by their local ambulance service for outstanding achievements or work performance.

The next Wisconsin Stars of Life event will be produced in September 2017 by the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin.  The nomination period will be open from July to August 2017.  Watch the Association’s website for updates.

>> Click for the 2015 Wisconsin Stars of Life dedicated webpage.

April 26, 2016

The Anti-Kickback Statute and Its Application to Private and Municipal EMS Providers

Co-authored by Thomas Shorter and Wendy Arends, attorneys with Godfrey & Kahn, Madison

As municipal departments become more involved in providing emergency medical services and inter-facility transports, discounts or provision of free services or items that result in charges below cost may trigger the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“Anti-Kickback Statute”).  Because of the complexity of the Anti-Kickback Statute, EMS providers—whether privately owned or municipal—are encouraged to carefully evaluate proposed transactions and arrangements for fraud and abuse compliance.

The Anti-Kickback Statute

The Anti-Kickback Statute was enacted in 1972 to protect patients and federal health care programs from fraud and abuse.   >> Click to read more http://paaw.us/news/3986097

The April 26,
2016 EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast interviewed attorney Wendy Arends about the Anti-Kickback Statute as it relates to private and municipal ambulance services.  >> Click to listen now.

April 18, 2016

Wisconsin ambulance Narcan rebate in the media

More than 800 Wisconsinites died of prescription narcotic painkiller and heroin overdoses in 2013, the most recent year for which there is data available, and drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury death in the United States.

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel teamed up to announce details of a new rebate program for Naloxone, the opiate antidote, that will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for qualifying organizations.  Wisconsin ambulance services are eligible to apply for the rebate. 
>> Click for more information.

April 12, 2016

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
Narcan rebate announced for Wisconsin ambulance services; Stemi drug therapy

>> Click to listen now!

This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was recorded on Tuesday, April 12.

The program began with an announcement regarding a $6.00 rebate negotiated between Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Naloxone (Narcan) manufacturer Amphastar.  Wisconsin ambulance services are eligible, but must file their rebate within 60 days of each quarter's end.  The Agreement expires February 1, 2017.  For more on the rebate program, go to >> http://paaw.us/Amphastar-narcan-rebate.

The second part of the program, starting at 6:00 minutes, included a discussion on stemi drug therapy with guests Dr. Michael Rosenberg, Medical Director-Cardiovascular Services, Holy Family Memorial Hospital, Manitowoc, Valders Ambulance Director Jay Steuer, and Baraboo Area Ambulance Chief Dana Secular.  Holy Family Memorial Hospital was recently named one of 50 top hospitals in the nation regarding its stemi EMS system.

Upcoming Events

Current PAAW Priorities
Community Paramedicine / Mobile Integrated Healthcare Legislation
MABAS and WI Liability Protection Statute 893.80

Next EMS Live Podcast

Tuesday, June 28

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


Is it time for EMS Regionalization?

Mark Fredrickson
Dr. Marv Birnbaum

Dial in number to listen to the live show or speak with the co-hosts and guests:  


Or listen on any internet connected device - even email in a question.

Treating CHF patients with better results (Tyler Christifulli, Training Coordinator, Lifestar EMS, West Bend, WI)

Most recent EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast - Listen Now!

Emergency calls or patient contacts to PAAW members last year

Over 285,000

>> See who's a PAAW member.  Not a PAAW member? That's okay. Subscribe to receive free email updates and alerts from PAAW.  >> Click to get started.


Crystal Wallin

Feature writer and La Crosse Paramedic

Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones

Weekly IV Fluids and EMS Pharmaceutical Backorder Report

PAAW continues to monitor the ongoing EMS pharmaceutical drug and IV fluids backorder situation by posting weekly updates, courtesy of Bound Tree Medical.

Through a special arrangement with EMS World magazine, PAAW members and their employees or volunteers receive a free 12-month subscription, a $40 value. 

Stay on top of national EMS news, tips, a variety of topics and special reports - delivered right to your home or work address or e-mail account the beginning of every month!  >> Click to receive this benefit.

Monitor Police, Fire and EMS Radio Traffic Around the U.S.!

Browse over 2,000 police, fire and EMS scanner monitoring stations around the U.S. with a simple click of your computer mouse.  It's sure to make any scanner junkie go wild!

>> Click here to find out more about selecting your own monitoring station or click the scanner below to open the audio player for Milwaukee County Fire radio traffic.

Milwaukee County Fire
(click scanner below to activate feed)

Winamp Aplha Display

Home  l  Stars of Life  l  EMS to the Point  l  EMS Live in Wisconsin  l  Business Partners  l  Jobs Board  l  Site Map  l  Contact Us

Copyright © 2016.  Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

PAAW Endorsed

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software