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

Patrick Ryan, PAAW President
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Current News and Information from PAAW

September 19, 2017

State Capitol
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:

  • Tax incentives to recruit and retain volunteers
  • Lifting levy limits for EMS services
  • Reducing unnecessary calls through use of Community Paramedics and Community EMT's

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.

September 14, 2017

Job Posting
Kenosha Fire Department Seeks Medical Director

The Kenosha Fire Department recently posted an RFP for Medical Director.

The overall medical responsibility is planning, implementation, operation, and monitoring of the emergency medical services provided by the Kenosha Fire Department. The successful candidate has medical and legal responsibility for the EMS system operations and for all medical services provided by the department as outlined in the department’s EMS operational plan.

Additional responsibilities, include: 

  • Supervision, direction and management of pre-hospital medical care provided by the department, and
  • EMS continuous quality improvement program and is actively engaged in the training and education of the department’s EMS providers.

It is estimated that the department Medical Director would perform services ten hours per week or forty hours per month.

>> Click to review RFP.

Sealed proposals should be sent directly to Fire Chief Charles Leipzig, City of Kenosha Fire Department, 4810 60th Street, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53144 on or before Friday, October 6th, 2017 at 4:30 P.M.

September 10, 2017

EMS Training
Two WARDS training classes added by EMS Office

The Wisconsin EMS Office has added two more Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System (WARDS) Elite Training sessions.

The first will be held at the Janesville Fire Department, 303 Milton Ave., Janesville.  This course will be a daytime course held on Monday, September 18 from 8 am to 5 pm.  Registration will start at 7:30 AM.

The second session will take place Wednesday & Thursday, September 27 and 28 in the Community Room of the Wausau Fire Department, 515 Grand Ave., Wausau.  This session will start at 6:00 pm and go until 10:00 pm each evening with registration starting at 5:30 pm.

Register through >> WI-Train. For both sessions you will need to register for course #1049572 using your personal account. Just choose the session you wish to attend. The course will cover a variety of topics, including functions required to maintain the ambulance service account, how to create and schedule reports, modify forms, add supplemental questions and set up CQI reviews.

August 26, 2017

EMS Resources
Wisconsin Office of Rural Health introduces new EMS resource tool

The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health recently introduced a new resource information tool to benefit EMS. 

According to Executive Director John Eich, "We've created a “Virtual Library”, with the “EMS” filter already applied, so users can see all our reports, maps, and other resources for EMS".  To access the Virtual Library, go to >> http://worh.org/library?keys=&field_category_tid%5B%5D=52

In addition, WI-ORH put together several EMS resources from a variety of websites.  To review the information, go to >> http://worh.org/ems.

August 26, 2017

Standby for Tones Blog
Home Sweet Home

The first thing I register is the officer’s words as he gives report to my partner. “…hasn’t taken meds in six months…hasn’t been out of the apartment in six months…hasn’t eaten in three weeks…” The officer continues to fill in the blanks, that she lives with a roommate but that he is bipolar and hadn’t thought these things were concerning. The report complete, my partner and I enter the residence.

The second thing I register is the haze. I’m no stranger to odors but as we walk into the apartment, my lungs physically rebel at roughly the one minute mark. The apartment is literally foggy with acrid, dense cigarette smoke. I follow my partner’s grey shirt in front of me, sizing up our surroundings as we advance. I register a synthetic “feather” duster on the stove, between the electric burner and a frying pan, but the light indicating a hot stovetop isn’t lit. The duster isn’t smoldering, and so I continue towards the back bedroom, entering just after my partner. I’m already coughing, thanks to the lung issues I’ve been slowly coming to terms with. Last December my primary care provider tells me my seventeen years of smoking have had some impact on me even now, six years after smoking cessation. Each room we’ve passed now, in this apartment, has had at least one overflowing ashtray and my lungs are registering the effects.

>> Click to read more of the story...

"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. 

>> Click to read more on Crystal's blog page.

August 26, 2017 

Former LifeQuest Billing CEO dies in auto accident 

Jerry Miller, age 59, of Wautoma, died suddenly on Tuesday, August 22, as the result of an automobile accident in the Township of Newton, Marquette County.

Jerry was a 1976 graduate of Gillett School in Gillett, WI. He attended UW-Oshkosh and studied Police Science. He completed Paramedic training at Fox Valley Tech and was then employed at Shawano Rescue. Later, he relocated to Wautoma where he served as Waushara County EMS Director for over 19 years. Jerry was the founder of LifeQuest of Wautoma in 1992 and operated the business until 2013.

Jerry was an advocate for people struggling with addiction. He and his wife recently established Livingstone Bistro and Ministry of Wautoma in support of that effort.

August 22, 2017

Hometown Safety Grant
Alliant Energy EMS Grant Opportunity

Application deadline September 1

Alliant Energy is accepting proposals for Hometown Safety Grants.  They will award up to $2,000 to purchase lifesaving or protective equipment, such as AEDs, Jaws of Life or personal protective equipment for EMS and other safety providers.  The grant can cover no more than 50% of the purchase cost.  Limited to Alliant Energy’s service area.  The deadline is September 1.  This opportunity is offered four times/year; the next deadline is December 1.

August 22, 2017

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
PulsePoint, Citizen Response to CPR events

>> Click to listen now!

This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was about PulsePoint - a trained citizen alert smartphone app for CPR events.

Our podcast guest was Samantha Hilker with Gold Cross Ambulance, Menasha, Wisconsin.  She recently introduced PulsePoint to the Fox Valley area.  They've had over 1,000 followers signup to receive alerts.

Talking Points:

  • PulsePoint is currently in use in 2,400+ communities around the country, and has been operating for seven years. The experience in those communities has been extremely positive with no negative consequences. The people who respond sincerely want to help. In many situations, responders are off-duty EMS and healthcare professionals.  The PulsePoint website is >> www.PulsePoint.org.
  • Having citizen responders is critical. Gold Cross serves the entire region - 1,200 square miles of portions of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet and Waupaca counties. That's a lot of territory to cover. The more people who are able and willing to respond, the better.
  • Although the app is free, users have to stipulate they know CPR when downloading the app, indicating that if alerted they will respond within the context of their training.
  • The alert only goes to PulsePoint users within a 1/4 mile radius of the patient, so that's a limited group of people who understand they may be alerted, and want to offer aid.

Questions to be discussed:

1. What is it?

2. How does it work?

3. Are strangers going to show up at my house if I call 911?

4. What about HIPAA?

5. Will I be sued if I help someone?

>> Click to listen now!

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

August 21, 2017

EMS Leader Networking
PSOW conference agenda announced, registration open

The Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin will host its 30th annual conference in Green Bay, September 20 to 22. The conference is specifically designed for Service Directors, Medical Directors and Training Centers.

The program will start at 10:00 AM on Wednesday morning September 20 with initial individual and provider introductions.  Thursday and Friday will continue with excellent presentations that will have everyone talking all year long. 

The conference agenda is listed below with daily registration fee noted.  For more information or to register, go to >> www.PSOW.org.

Wednesday, September 20 (Daily Registration Fee - $75.00, includes meals/break items)

8:00 a.m.       Registration open

10:00 a.m.     Presentation of Colors EMS Honor Guard

10:05 a.m.     Welcome and introductions

10:20 a.m.     Ambulance service introductions and initiatives

12:00 noon   Lunch*

1:00 p.m.       Ambulance service introductions and initiatives (continued)

2:00 p.m.       Provider Stress and Wellness (Rick Barney, MD)

3:00 p.m.       Break in vendor area*

3:30 p.m.       “Hot Topics” (Moderated by Dan Williams)

4:30 p.m.       Hospitality with vendors*

6:00 p.m.       Dinner on your own

Thursday, September 21 (Daily Registration Fee - $95.00, includes meals/break items)

7:00 a.m.       Breakfast*

7:30 a.m.       Registration open

8:00 a.m.       Addiction is a Brain Disease (Rick Barney, MD)

9:00 a.m.       Exclusive vendor hour*

10:00 a.m.     Shared Community Paramedic Project (Josh Finke)

11:00 a.m.     Advanced EMS and Stroke Protocols (Kerry Ahrens)

12:00 noon   Lunch*

1:00 p.m.       Fraud, Abuse and Compliance (Wendy Arends, Attorney)

2:00 p.m.       “Hot Topics (continued) (Moderated by Dan Williams)

3:00 p.m.       Break*

3:30 p.m.       Ask the Doc’s (Panel Discussion)

5:00 p.m.       Cocktails

6:00 p.m.       Banquet Dinner and Wisconsin Stars of Life Program*

Friday, September 22 (Daily Registration Fee - $25.00, includes meals/break items)

7:00 a.m.       Breakfast*

8:00 a.m.       Summary and discussion on earlier topics (Dan Williams)

8:30 a.m.       State Medical Director’s Report (Suzanne Martens, MD)

9:15 a.m.       State-of-the-State questions and answers (James Newlun)

10:30 a.m.     Conference wrap-up

*Meals and vendor break snack items included in registration fee

August 21, 2017

Aladtec Named to Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies

Wisconsin-based company ranked on list at No. 2897

Recently, Inc. magazine released their 36th annual Inc. 5000 list, the nation’s most prestigious ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States.  Aladtec, Inc. moved up 20 spots, moving from No. 2917 last year to No. 2897 this year. The company ranked No. 3197 in 2015. Only one in five businesses on the list achieve the accolade of appearing on the list three times.

The annual list highlights the most successful independent small businesses based on growth. Previous companies who are now household names first appeared as honorees on Inc. 5000 - including Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many others. Ranking number one this year is San Francisco based Skillz - a popular mobile-gaming platform.

Aladtec was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in River Falls, Wisconsin. They provide online employee scheduling and workforce management software solutions to over 1,900 organizations primarily within the Public Safety Sector.  Nearly 120,000 people use the system and a half-billion hours have been scheduled using Aladtec.

"We are extremely honored to be on the Inc. 5000 list for the third year in a row,” states Aladtec Founder, and President, David Feyereisen.  “But we don't seek growth just for the sake of growth. We strive to provide the hometown heroes in Public Safety with the finest workforce management solution money can buy, at a price any department can afford. Our staff is dedicated to that goal and our continued growth is a result of that dedication.”

August 8, 2017

Wisconsin Stars of Life

2017 Wisconsin Stars of Life Honorees Announced

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin is pleased to announce the 2017 Wisconsin Stars of Life.  Each person was nominated by their local ambulance service, and will be presented with Stars of Life recognition and honors for their dedication and commitment.  The Stars of Life celebration is the most rewarding and exciting Wisconsin event in our field and is modeled after the American Ambulance Association's National Stars of Life.

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

The 2017 event will be the tenth time PAAW has proudly presented the Wisconsin Stars of Life program.  This special event recognizes and honors the dedication of ambulance service professionals - people that stand out in every area of our field.

Schedule of Events

2017 Wisconsin Stars of Life honorees will be recognized at a series of events, to include a welcome reception, banquet dinner and awards program during the Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin Conference, Thursday, September 21, Green Bay, and sometime in October or November at the State Capitol, Madison.

One person from the group of 2017 honorees will be selected and advance to represent Wisconsin.  This individual will be recognized at the National Stars of Life program in Washington, D.C., June 11 to 13, 2018.  PAAW will provide a $750 travel voucher, and the American Ambulance Association Foundation will provide a grant for hotel and event registration fees for the Star, Star's guest, and host (employer).

>> Click for more on Wisconsin Stars of Life.

August 8, 2017

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast

Discussion on Three EMS Legislative Bills

>> Click to listen now for on-demand playback.

This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was recorded live on August 8. 

Dana Sechler, EMS Director at Baraboo District Ambulance and PAAW Board of Director member, testified on August 2 during a public hearing before the legislative Assembly's Committee on Health at the State Capitol, Madison.

The public hearing regarded the three bills noted below.

Assembly Bill 310 relating to funding for first responder and emergency medical technician training and certification and making an appropriation.  >> Click for Bill history.

Assembly Bill 311 relating to upgrading service levels for ambulances in rural areas.  >> Click for Bill history.

Assembly Bill 356 relating to licensure or certificate renewal for certain emergency medical services personnel and ambulance service providers.  >> Click for Bill history.

>> Click to listen now for on-demand playback.

Upcoming Events

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

Next EMS Live Podcast

Tuesday, October 10

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


Video Laryngoscope


Eric Lang, NRP

Sun Prairie EMS

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)

Stars of Life Dinner and 
Awards Program

September 21, 2017

Tundra Lodge & Convention 
Center, Green Bay

>> Click for 2017 Stars of Life Webpage and Event Information

2015 Stars of Life Honorees

Crystal Wallin

Feature writer and La Crosse Paramedic

Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones

Emergency calls or patient contacts to PAAW members last year

Over 272,000

>> 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.

Reach-A-Child draws in EMS providers to distract children

Posted 5-24-2017
Run Time 12 min and 47 sec


Eric Salzwedel
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

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)

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