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  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:18 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    State Capitol

    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
  • Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:56 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Advocacy

    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.
  • Tuesday, October 10, 2017 10:33 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast

    >> 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.

  • Thursday, October 05, 2017 7:24 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Next EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast

    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 9 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

  • Monday, September 25, 2017 9:03 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Stars of Life

    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.
  • Monday, September 25, 2017 6:23 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)
    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.
  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017 8:25 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    State Capitol - Madison

    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.

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 9:45 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    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.

  • Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:19 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    >> Click to download and listen now!

    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.
  • Sunday, September 10, 2017 8:50 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    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.
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