Patrick Ryan, PAAW President
Current News and Information from PAAW
October 18, 2017
Public hearing held on Community Paramedicine Bill
Public hearing was held on Tuesday, October 17, at the State Capitol in Madison on the Community Paramedicine bills currently before the Senate and Assembly.
The Community Paramedicine bill unanimously passed the Assembly earlier in the year and is expected to be introduced soon in the Senate for discussion and vote. Click the blue highlighted links below for each respective bill to review bill text and history.
Proposal: AB151 (-0116) View Bill History
Proposal: SB149 (-2435) View Bill History
October 18, 2017
Members of the Transportation Advisory Council, which includes the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, recently authored a joint letter to the Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS) with several recommendations to improve the program as it moves forward. The transportation contract is issued by the state and will be bid out sometime in 2018.
One recommendation offered in the letter is to remove non-emergency "ambulance" from covered services in the upcoming bid. >> Click to review letter.
Since 2011, non-emergency ambulance transportation was first included in the broker model. Broker services began with Logisticare and later changed to MTM, who is the current broker management company. Under the model, ambulance services are required to get an authorization number prior to transporting a non-emergency patent.
The broker model hasn't been kind to ambulance services with brokers often short paying bills, delaying payment for months or not paying invoices at all - even after patient transportation services were provided. It is estimated that over one-million dollars has been lost to unpaid bills since inception of the program.
When a covered beneficiary under the Medicaid program summons an ambulance and it is deemed an emergency, then the transporting ambulance service is outside the broker model and can bill DHS directly as a covered service. That's how is was handled too for non-emergency ambulance services, until the broker model was introduced by the state as a cost saving and Medicaid program management initiative.
October 11, 2017
EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
Seeing Benefits with Video Laryngoscope at Sun Prairie EMS
>> Click to listen to this podcast.
During the October 10, EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast, PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli spoke with Acting Director Eric Lang and long-time Paramedic Bob Barrix, both with Sun Prairie EMS, regarding their use, training and experience with video laryngoscopes in the field.
What Sun Prairie EMS has learned in deploying use of video laryngoscopes:
Helpful resources to download:
October 6, 2017
Special podcast reviewed EMS Day plans and talking points
>> To listen to this podcast, go to http://tobtr.com/10314789.
On Friday, October 6, PAAW completed a special podcast to discuss the upcoming Wisconsin EMS Day at the State Capitol in Madison on November 1. Our guests included Wisconsin Office of Rural Health Executive Director John Eich, Baraboo EMS Chief Dana Sechler and Ryan Brothers President and PAAW President Patrick Ryan. The program was hosted by PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli.
According to Covelli, "EMS providers don't get involved in their local ambulance service to lobby their local legislators. However, EMS does a great job sharing stories about what they do and the pride they have in taking care of patients. Those messages can translate into action by state government. Legislators want to help local EMS, but they need input. They need to hear from their constituents. Wisconsin EMS Day offers that platform".
John, Dana and many others have been instrumental in organizing Wisconsin EMS Day. The podcast offered insight into the day's plans and how you can be involved.
This is a critical time for EMS. Volunteerism is down, levy limits and dwindling reimbursements are affecting funding to EMS, and services are struggling to keep ambulances staffed and their doors open. The goal on November 1 is to talk with legislators about:
Join the group on Wednesday, November 1st, at 10 am, in Madison’s Central Library for EMS Day at the Capitol. The Associations representing Wisconsin EMS are united in holding this event. The Professional Ambulance Association of WI, the Professional Fire Fighters of WI, the WI EMS Association, and the WI State Fire Chiefs Association will all be there--and we invite you to come stand alongside them.
Register now (Click here), so we know how many EMS providers are coming to participate, and can provide a box lunch for everyone. Let’s show the legislators what EMS means to Wisconsin.
Wisconsin EMS Day Agenda - November 1
10:00 am Welcome (Partner Panel) - History, goals for today, key talking points and bills
10:30 am Legislative speaker panel - Sen Nass, Rep Kremer, Rep Shankland, Rep Loudenbeck all invited
11:00 am Lobbying 101, what it looks like, what to expect
11:20 am Lobbying Packet Review
11:40 am The Legislative “Asks”
12:00 pm Lunch served and walk to Capitol building for visits
Wisconsin EMS Day State Capitol HQ, 2nd floor North Hearing Room. Water and snacks available, drop off feedback and requests for follow-up.
>> To listen to this podcast, go to http://tobtr.com/10314789.
September 25, 2017
Stars of Life
Dedication, Commitment, Heroism: Key words that describe 2017 Stars of Life honorees
The 2017 Stars of Life honorees were recognized during two events on September 21 in Green Bay at Tundra Lodge Resort and Conference Center.
The program began with a welcome reception where each Star was introduced by their employer or family member. Words of appreciation, dedication, commitment, to include stories of heroism, were frequently shared. To mark the special occasion, each honoree received a gold Wisconsin Star of Life lapel pin.
Next, came the dinner and awards program where each Star was recognized before an audience of 200 and formally presented Wisconsin Stars of Life honors. Each honoree was presented with a custom engraved medallion and framed certificate of appreciation from Governor Scott Walker. The dinner program was co-located with the Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin conference.
The evening concluded with the announcement David Mike with Paratech Ambulance Service, Milwaukee, was selected to represent Wisconsin at the 2018 National Stars of Life event in Washington, D.C. The selection committee felt David's commitment to EMS and community touched every aspect in the suggested criteria for Stars of Life. Tami Aerts with County Rescue Services, Green Bay, was selected as the alternate 2018 National Star of Life.
To review the 2017 Stars of Life program booklet and biographies on each Star honoree, >> click here.
2017 Wisconsin Stars of Life Honorees
Tami Aerts nominated by County Rescue Services
Chris Cuddy nominated by Gold Cross Ambulance
Christopher Dallas nominated by Valders Ambulance
Patrick Donoghue nominated by Bell Ambulance
Elizabeth Ferger-Olsen nominated by Paratech Ambulance Service
Angela Gonzalez nominated by Palmyra Public Safety Department
Jon Hagen nominated by Flight For Life
Paul Harrison nominated by Ryan Brothers Ambulance
Steve Hensley nominated by Tri-State Ambulance
Amanda Holtz nominated by Orange Cross Ambulance
Ryan Janus nominated by Bell Ambulance
Bob Kelter nominated by Baraboo EMS
David Krueger nominated by Grant EMS
Mary LaPorte nominated by Riverside Fire District
Dr. Suzanne Martens nominated by Valders Ambulance
Lori McConochie nominated by Cambria Community Ambulance Service
David Mike nominated by Paratech Ambulance
Tyler Miller nominated by Tri-State Ambulance
Kenny Monteith nominated by Tri-State Regional Ambulance
Dan Morth nominated by Ellsworth Area Ambulance
Tom Pasch nominated by Ryan Brothers Ambulance
Brian Randall nominated by Gold Cross Ambulance
Russell Schafer nominated by Lodi Area EMS
Jeri Schiffman nominated by Tri-State Regional Ambulance
Sandra Steenweg nominated by Pickerel Rescue Squad
Bob Sternhagen (posthumous) nominated by Gold Cross Ambulance
Benjamin Waldera nominated by Divine Savior Healthcare EMS
Robert Whitton nominated by Paratech Ambulance Service
Mark Willer nominated by Baraboo EMS
Wisconsin Stars of Life has been proudly produced by PAAW since 2006.
September 25, 2017
His VFW jacket is deceptive on his small frame, and the corresponding ball cap on his head is similarly boxy. He’s currently occupying a ditch alongside a small pickup truck where a few moments ago he was a passenger. Now he’s meeting my partner and I, so obviously his day has gone downhill. Literally.
They go up this hill every day, he’s telling the passerby who is seated next to him in the tall summer grass, keeping him company before all the sirens went from distant to loud, then finally silent here at the scene. The garish lights are strobing up the countryside but they are held to a dim minimum on this sunny summer day. Him and his buddy go down this hill every day to see another buddy, and then back up the hill to the ridgetop they call home. He never thought this would happen today. They were headed up the hill when the gentleman in the VFW jacket thought the engine sounded funny, “Like it was slipping gears, ya know”. Soon the driver told my patient, “I got some bad news for ya. I think we’re gonna crash.” My patient thought it best then to click on the seatbelt he’d removed to access his smokes in an inner pocket of the VFW jacket, and no sooner did the seatbelt click home than the engine did die. Within short order the steering and brakes left as well and they ended up somehow going back down the hill backwards. As my patient tells it, “after about five minutes, we rolled over. Just once I think but it’s hard to say, ya know.”
"Standby for Tones" is a 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.
September 19, 2017
Join Wisconsin EMS Day on November 1st at the State Capitol
Over the past several years, bills have been written and passed by the Wisconsin Legislature that affect EMS--with little to no input from the EMS providers and stakeholders. Legislators want to help EMS, but unfortunately, the recent bills feel like short-term solutions to the perceived problems. Our elected officials need to hear from us on how to create sustainable change for EMS.
Let’s go to the Capital together to meet our representatives, so they will hear in our own words what needs to be done to provide high quality EMS in the State of Wisconsin! All four of our Associations have come together to build bridges with our Representatives and Senators, because now is the time to act. We’re wearing our uniforms and presenting a unified message about EMS.
Join us for EMS Day on November 1st. Let’s show up in a sea of uniforms, visit our legislators, and explain what we do and what we need. There are over 16,000 of us in Wisconsin - if a fraction of that showed up at the Capital, it would be a movement that they couldn’t ignore.
This is a critical time for EMS. Volunteerism is down, levy limits and dwindling reimbursements are affecting funding to EMS, and services are struggling to keep ambulances staffed and their doors open. It’s time to stand up and speak out for our needs. Let’s talk with legislators about:
Join us on Wednesday, November 1st, at 10 am, in Madison’s Central Library for EMS Day at the Capital. The Associations representing Wisconsin EMS are united in holding this event. The Professional Ambulance Association of WI (PAAW), the Professional Fire Fighters of WI (PFFW), the WI EMS Association (WEMSA), and the WI State Fire Chiefs Association (WSFCA) will all be there--and we invite you to come stand alongside us.
Register now (Click here), so we know how many EMS providers are coming to participate, and can provide a box lunch for everyone. Bring someone with you. Carpool to the Capital. Let’s show the legislators what EMS means to Wisconsin.
We’ll see you there.
September 14, 2017
EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
Help Wanted: Paramedic Hiring Shortage
Recently, Executive Director Mark Fredrickson at Gold Cross Ambulance, Menasha, raised concerns about a Paramedic and EMT hiring shortage. On May 30th, PAAW President Patrick Ryan mailed a letter identifying the Paramedic hiring shortage to State of Wisconsin EMS Section Director James Newlun. >> Click to review the letter from PAAW.
According to Mark, "The Paramedic and EMT shortage is bigger than what most may think. We had waiting lists and could pick and choose the best candidates. Now, we find ourselves with no waiting list or even applicants coming in looking for work".
Mark attributes the problem to two main items. One, the technical colleges are not producing enough resources to fill the demand and, two, we cannot effectively recruit out of state with the current reciprocity process assuring new hires a license in a timely manner. Additionally, hospitals, clinics and some factories are recruiting Paramedics and EMTs, which further depletes the pool that all ambulance providers try and recruit from.
Don't miss a beat of Wisconsin EMS action. Listen to EMS Live in Wisconsin the second and fourth Tuesday every month starting at 9:00 a.m. and lasting 30 minutes. >> Click for more information.
PAAW News and Information At A Glance
Current PAAW Priorities
Community Paramedicine Legislation
MABAS/WI Liability Protection Statute 893.80
State Medicaid Reimbursement & MTM
>> Legislative Study Committee on Firefighter and EMT Volunteer Shortages
Recognize Do-Not-Resuscitate Pendant
Stars of Life Dinner and
September 21, 2017
Tundra Lodge & Convention
Center, Green Bay
2015 Stars of Life Honorees
Feature writer and La Crosse Paramedic
Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones
Emergency calls or patient contacts to PAAW members last year
Reach-A-Child draws in EMS providers to distract children
Run Time 12 min and 47 sec
Marketing & Business Development Director, Reach-A-Child, Madison
>> Click for the newest audio webcast or review the library of previous ones.
Weekly IV Fluids and EMS Pharmaceutical Backorder Report
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)