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  • Tuesday, June 27, 2017 11:25 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)
    >> Click to listen now for on-demand playback.

    This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was recorded on Tuesday, June 27.   Program guests from the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, included Director Christine Westrich, Dr. Colella and EMS Division Director Ken Sternig.

    Wisconsin is not immune from the national opioid epidemic and spike in deaths related to overdoses.  According to the Wisconsin Opioid Task Force, opioid-related overdose deaths more than tripled in Wisconsin from 194 deaths in 2003 to 622 deaths in 2014.  EMS is on the front-line in responding to these calls in both urban and rural areas of the state.

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

  • Saturday, June 24, 2017 11:53 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Wisconsin EMS Advisory Board

    The Governor's Office notified Chris Anderson, Operations Director at Bell Ambulance, Milwaukee, he is the newest appointment by Governor Scott Walker to the State's EMS Advisory Board.

    According to Chris, "Being involved with the EMS Advisory Board is something I've been interested in for several years.  Finally, about two years ago, I realized that if I truly wanted to be involved, I had to do more than think about it, so I began the application process.  I was surprised and honored to receive the call last week.  I look forward to working with the other members of the board as we take Wisconsin EMS into the future."

    Since 2008, Chris has been Operations Director at Bell Ambulance
    He became an EMT in 1999 and a paramedic in 2004.  His entire EMS career has been spent in Milwaukee, beginning with two years of full-time ambulance work, followed by various supervisory and management positions which led to his current position.  In his current position, Chris oversees about 250 staff members, who respond to calls ranging from pre-scheduled to emergent and from BLS to Critical Care.  Chris enjoys working with other EMS leaders to further the interests of this very unique business.

    In 2011, Chris joined the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin as a Board of Directors member, where he also holds an executive officer position as Secretary for the state ambulance member association.

    Chris joins PAAW Board of Directors member Mark Fredrickson, Executive Director at Gold Cross Ambulance, Menasha, as the second PAAW Board of Directors member to currently be serving on the State of Wisconsin EMS Advisory Board.  Mark holds the position of Vice President on the EMS Advisory Board, and has been a long serving member since 2005.
  • Saturday, June 24, 2017 10:35 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    National Drug Shortage Information Session

    Stacey Barksdale Price, Senior Product Manager, Bound Tree Medical
    James Augustine, MD, US Acute Care Solutions

    When: Friday, June 30th at 11:00 pm (CDT)

    Did you know within the last three weeks the number of products on the Bound Tree weekly backorder report has grown from 50 to 70? It appears the current national drug shortages impacting EMS agencies are very similar to the shortages experienced back in 2012.

    Join our free webinar to learn more about the current drug shortages, the products involved, and coping strategies commonly seen in EMS from Stacey Barksdale Price and James Augustine, MD.

    Reserve your seat now »

  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 8:14 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)
    On June 21, Governor Scott Walker signed Bill AB 59 regarding EMT language changes.

    This bill changes the terminology
    for emergency medical technicians. The term “first responder" changes to “emergency medical responder." The term “emergency medical technician — basic" changes to “emergency medical technician." The term 
    “emergency medical technician — intermediate" does not change. The term “advanced emergency medical technician” is added to reflect the level currently in the Department of Health Services rules known as “emergency medical technician — intermediate technician.” The term “emergency medical technician — paramedic" changes to “paramedic." The term “emergency medical technician" currently refers collectively to emergency medical technicians — basic, emergency medical 
    technicians — intermediate, and emergency medical technicians — paramedic, and that term changes to “emergency medical services practitioner" under the bill and includes advanced emergency medical technicians.

    At the invitation of the Governor, Baraboo District Ambulance Chief and PAAW Board of Directors member Dana Sechler, third from the left in the photo insert, represented PAAW at the bill's signing ceremony.

    >> Click to read bill AB 59.

    There are several other EMS bills currently being reviewed and considered at the State Capitol, to include flexible staffing, changing license renewals from two to every three years, and community paramedicine to name a few.  A lot of the recent legislative activity is due in part to last year's work by the Legislative Study Committee on Volunteer Firefighter and EMT Shortages, which led to bill recommendations by the Joint Legislative Council.
  • Tuesday, June 20, 2017 9:38 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)


    Due to the ongoing critical shortages of injectable drugs used in critical care, the FDA is alerting health care professionals and emergency responders of updated dates through which some of these injectable drugs, manufactured by Hospira Inc, a Pfizer company, may be used beyond the manufacturer’s labeled expiration date.   A few days ago, the FDA announced extending expiration dates on Pfizer Atropine, D50 and epi. >> Click for related article.

    Bound Tree Medical will be hosting a conference call on Friday, June 30 regarding the epi shortage.  PAAW will pass along the call-in information once received.

    FDA approves new, cheaper rival to EpiPen
    U.S. regulators have approved new competition for EpiPen, the emergency allergy medicine that made Mylan a poster child for pharmaceutical company greed.  Last summer, the company came under fire for repeatedly raising the price of EpiPens and CEO Heather Bresch was grilled by a Congressional panel.

    Mylan hiked the price of a pair of EpiPens from $94 in 2007, when the company acquired the product, to $608 last year. The devices need to be replaced each year, adding to the financial sting.  Analysts and others have estimated that it costs less than $20 to produce a pair of EpiPens.

    The Food and Drug Administration on June 15 approved Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s product, which should go on sale later this year.  The "Symjepi" is a syringe prefilled with the hormone epinephrine, which helps stop life-threatening allergic reactions from insect stings and bites, foods such as nuts and eggs, or certain medications. Adamis said it is still lining up a distributor so it hasn't set the exact price for its product, which will be sold in pairs like EpiPen.  >> Click for related news item.
  • Tuesday, June 13, 2017 9:44 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast

    >> Click to listen now!

    This podcast was recorded on Tuesday, June 13.  Our guest was Dr. Alex Sommers with Astia Health in Marathon, Wisconsin. 

    Dr. Sommers designed telemedicine hardware and software perfectly suited for Community Paramedicine applications for in-home, out of hospital applications.  In this webcast we learned more about his approach to patient care using the community paramedicine telemedicine model.

    Dr. Sommers' website is https://astiahealth.com/.

    Co-hosts included Patrick Ryan and Joe Covelli.

    >> Click to listen now!
  • Monday, June 12, 2017 8:06 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    Wisconsin Stars of Life

    Nomination period open until August 1, 2017.

    Take this opportunity to reward and celebrate an employee, volunteer, or community citizen who exemplifies the everyday spirit and commitment of a Star of Life.

    Each person nominated is presented with Wisconsin Stars of Life honors!  You do not need to be a member of PAAW to submit a nomination application.  All nominations are welcome.

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

    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.  You choose your "Star." These are the people who will be recognized in a series of celebratory events.

    >> Click for the schedule of events.
    >> Click for the nomination application (due no later than August 1, 2017).
  • Tuesday, June 06, 2017 8:30 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    EMS to the Point Podcast

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

    Reach-A-Child, a Madison, Wisconsin based nonprofit, distributes "reach bags" to children ages 2 to 12 in distressed situations.  Police, fire and EMS agencies can purchase a set of "reach bags" for a modest amount of money.  However, funds to purchase a set of "reach bags" is typically raised through community partners.

    The drawstring "reach bag" contains age appropriate books.  They present an easy and clean replacement to traditional stuffed animals commonly carried on emergency vehicles.

    Reach-A-Child's goal is to have a "reach bag" on every first responder vehicle in Wisconsin.  They plan to distribute 20,000 "reach bags" in 2017.  Last year, 9,600 "reach bags" were handed out to Wisconsin children and, in 2005, 6,400 "reach bags" were distributed.  "Reach bags" are given free of charge to children at scenes and traumatic events where family is involved in an auto accident, house fire or other incident police, fire or EMS are summoned for help.

    Reach-A-Child is endorsed by the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW).
  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 9:29 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    >> Click to listen now.

    This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was recorded on Tuesday, May 23.  The topic was dedicated to advancing your career to EMS leader and manager.  Our guests included Dan Williams and Jim Singer.

    Both Dan and Jim recently announced their retirements from their respective EMS leader positions.  With over 70 years of combined EMS experience, they offered an excellent perspective on advancing your EMS career into a leader and manager position.  Their recommendations included working with a mentor, advancing your career, leadership and interviewing suggestions and defining company culture.

    Dan has over 40 years experience in EMS and recently retired from Emergency Services of Door County where he was director for over 30 years.  Dan also was State of Wisconsin EMS Section Chief, Director at MedFlight in Madison and held previous positions with Flight For Life and Paratech Ambulance, both in Milwaukee.  For fourteen years, Dan was chairman of Wisconsin's EMS Advisory Board.  He continues as conference director for Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin Conference and as an EMS consultant.

    Jim recently concluded a 31-year career with Flight For Life, Milwaukee.  He was hired in 1986 as a flight nurse and in 1991 was promoted to chief flight nurse.  Jim transitioned to System Transport Director in 2001, a position he held until his retirement.  Jim was responsible to purchase new aircraft, made significant upgrades to the fleet and managed a system that completed over 33,000 safe flights.

    The program was hosted by Chris Anderson and Joe Covelli.

    >> Click to listen now.

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2017 8:28 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    I’m 27, and I have no idea how profoundly this class will affect me. The ways in which it morphs who I am into a better version of myself. The people I will be honored to care for, the things I will witness. The ways those things I witness will impact me for months and years to come. I have no inkling that my appreciation for life itself will grow, deepen and become a nearly measurable entity.

    I simply know that I am taking a class, an EMT-Basic class. It meets two evenings a week, from 6-10pm in a town roughly half an hour away from the bank at which I then worked. A nice customer from the bank also is taking the class, and we carpool. His wife is funny and kind and I look forward to those visits at their house before we hit the road, off to class. One day we get to town a little earlier than usual, and we swing by a used car lot just to kill some time. Before you can say SAMPLE, I’m the owner of a lipstick red Camaro just a few days later. In my young mind I think it’s funny to pay extra for a license plate that reads CTCH ME.

    We graduate, I continue banking. But something has changed. As the pager I’m given goes off, my heart rate accelerates in a sympathetic nervous system response, and now that I mention it, I’m not certain it’s ever quite gone back to normal. The more I see, the more I am frustrated by the limited ways in which I can help.

    >> 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 Crystal's blog.
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