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Current News and Information from PAAW


October 18, 2017

State Capitol
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 
relating to: community paramedics, community emergency medical technicians, community emergency medical services providers, and services provided by emergency medical technicians.

  • 10/17/2017: Public hearing held

Proposal: SB149 (-2435) View Bill History 
relating to: community paramedics, community emergency medical technicians, community emergency medical services providers, and services provided by emergency medical technicians.

  • 10/17/2017: Public hearing held

October 18, 2017

Advocacy
Stakeholder group suggests removing  "Ambulance" from state's transportation brokerage model

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:

  • Continued simulation mannequin training is necessary, skill retention was lacking.
  • Need to stress to the users of the device to use it how it was designed.
  • Medics were not suctioning adequately prior to attempted placement.
  • Each medic needed to increase familiarity with devices, systems and airway anatomy.
  • The overall goal was ‘mastering the normal’, which resulted in difficult airway management becoming easy and impossible airways becoming possible to manage.

Helpful resources to download:

>> Podcast talking points

>> 300.02 Rapid Sequence Airway.pdf

>> AIRWAY BAG.docx

>> RSA Card2.pdf

>> Click to listen to this podcast.


October 6, 2017 

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
Wisconsin EMS Day Plans at the State Capitol Nov. 1

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:

  • 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 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

Standby for Tones Blog
Backwards

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.”

>> 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.

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.

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, November 14

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time

Topic

EMS Compliance

Guest

Dan Williams
EMS Consultant

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

646-929-1081

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

 Guest:



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.

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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.


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