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  • Wednesday, September 02, 2020 10:24 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    SEPTEMBER 2, 2020
    CONTACT:  Chris Anderson, 414-349-3732 / canderson@264bell.com


    Paramedics and EMTs on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 were denied access to $100 million in federal CARES funding which was designated by Governor Evers for EMS and long-term health care providers which incurred significant unreimbursed costs related to the pandemic. 

    “We’re at a complete loss as to why EMS is always passed-over by State officials,” said Chris Anderson, President of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW).  “New personal protective equipment (PPE) and decontamination protocols have added over $35 in supply costs per response yet most of us received zero from Wisconsin’s CARES Act funding.  We cannot sustain current service levels without immediate assistance.”

    EMS services were initially eligible for assistance from the State as part of Wisconsin’s nearly $2 billion allocation from the Federal CARES Act.  As the Department of Health Services developed the rules, support for local EMS providers was all but eliminated.  “The largest ambulance service in Wisconsin received no state assistance despite expending over $300,000 on additional PPE,” said Anderson.  “We saw huge corporations getting CARES Act aid while the people on the front lines took another slap to the face.  I cannot overstate the vulnerability of Wisconsin’s EMS infrastructure right now, even as we head into flu season and a possible COVID-19 resurgence in the Fall.”

    EMS services were already in dire need.  On average, Wisconsin Medicaid reimburses ambulance services significantly less than the average of four surrounding states (IL, IA, MN, MI) as well as much less than the already low average Medicare reimbursement. “EMS needs permanent help right now to stabilize the system,” said Anderson.  “We lose money on every Medicaid transport—the mobile healthcare that serves some of the most at-risk populations in our State.  We have already seen one ambulance service discontinue participation in the city of Milwaukee's 911 system due to the abysmal Medicaid reimbursement rates.  This cannot continue or citizens will not get lifesaving care when it is needed the most.”

    “EMS is proud to answer the call to care for our neighbors in need, day or night,” stressed Anderson.  “We are essential to the pandemic response and risking our lives to help others.”


    About the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin

    The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW) safeguards the future of mobile healthcare through advocacy, thought leadership, and education. PAAW advances sustainable EMS policy, empowering our members to serve communities across the state with high-quality on-demand healthcare. We proudly represent those who care for the people of Wisconsin—first. www.wiambulance.org

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020 5:17 PM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)
    It is with very heavy hearts that the board of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin shares the passing of Patrick Ryan of Ryan Brothers Ambulance Service. Patrick was a true family man, a trusted EMS leader, and a pillar of the Madison community. His unmatched kindness, insight, and dedication will never be forgotten. Rest in peace, Patrick. We will remember and miss you always. [A virtual memorial service will be held for Patrick on Tuesday, May 19. Details are available from the Ryan Funeral Home.]

  • Tuesday, May 05, 2020 7:50 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    Mental Health for First Responders

    Alcohol Abuse

    • NIAAA Alcohol Treatment NavigatorSM
    • SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-4357 A confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
    • SMARTrecovery – Mutual support meetings are free and open to anyone
      seeking science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery.
    • Alcoholics Anonymous – An international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.

    Drug Abuse

    • Personal Finance & Debt

    For Veterans

    Many EMS providers have also served in the military.

  • Thursday, April 16, 2020 12:06 PM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    Yesterday, PAAW President Chris Anderson, WEMSA Executive Director Marc Cohen, PFFW Board Member Jerry Biggart, and WSFCA President Timothy Bantes held a joint press conference to ask for legislative and regulatory support of mobile healthcare in our state.

    As ambulance providers face skyrocketing PPE and labor costs, Paramedics and EMTs face daily the dangers of the pandemic in the field. As yet, the State of Wisconsin has not provided ANY dedicated COVID-19 aid for emergency responders. Ambulance providers have also not received a Medicaid rate increase since 2008—when rates were increased just 1%.

    Ambulance services deserve the support of all Wisconsin residents. Contact your legislators in support of sustainable EMS funding during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond!

  • Tuesday, March 10, 2020 9:22 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Will Pearson
    Calumet County Sheriff's Office
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Deputy Will Pearson was born and raised on the southside of Chicago, and moved to Wisconsin when he was 15 years old.  He attended Menasha High School for his Sophomore and Junior years and Seymour High School for his Senior Year.  After High School, Will went to Fox Valley Technical College for Criminal Justice.  While finishing school, he worked as a Community Service Officer for the City of Appleton and as a part-time Police Officer for the City of Seymour.

    In 2009, Will graduated and took a full-time patrol position for the City of Seymour. Then, in 2011, he took a full-time position for the Calumet County Sheriff’s Office, where he is currently employed.  Throughout his career Will has had the opportunity to hold many specialized positions in his department, and currently he is a patrol assigned K9 handler as well a member of the SWAT team.  

    Deputy Will Pearson is being nominated as a 2020 Star of Life for his life-saving response to a patient who had fallen and sustained a serious injury to her upper left extremity. Due to the fall, the patient had fractured and dislocated her left elbow and suffered transection of the left brachial artery, jeopardizing the main blood supply to the distal left arm. Deputy Pearson arrived on the scene and utilized his medical knowledge to promptly apply a tourniquet above the area of bleeding. Without his intervention, the patient could have bled to death or suffered the loss of her upper extremity. His quick thinking and jump to action allowed the patient to be transferred to the trauma center in time for her vessel to be repaired and her elbow properly relocated. While Will is not a medic, he was able to help save a life with his prompt medical intervention.

    Will and his wife Trista have been married for nine years and they have three children, Joshua, Rylee, and Isabella.  Their family currently resides in the Sherwood, WI area.  When he is not working, Will enjoys hunting and finishing with family and friends. We are so proud of Will and honored to nominate him as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Thursday, March 05, 2020 12:43 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Larry Haas
    Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Larry Haas is employed by Osseo Automotive in Osseo, Wisconsin and has been servicing Mayo Clinic’s fleet of ambulances since 2003.
    While we greatly value the work of our patient care providers, we also realize that someone must keep the wheels turning, literally, on our fleet in order for us to deliver quality patient care. Larry shares in the Mayo Clinic primary value that the needs of the patient come first, and he plays an essential role in delivering positive patient outcomes.

    Larry was born in the Town of Allen in Eau Claire County and started working in automotive repair at the age of 14, following in his father's footsteps. Larry began working at Osseo Automotive in 1992 and is certified by both Ford Motor Company and General Motors. He is known for his positive attitude, attention to detail and for demonstrating deep passion for the work he performs. Larry goes above and beyond to help whenever needed. Larry is known to his colleagues as the "ultimate team player" and is viewed as someone who makes the people he is working with better.

    Larry and his wife, Sandy, have six children and 11 grandchildren, and reside in Augusta, WI, where Larry is also a member of the Augusta Lions Club. When Larry is not helping family and friends he enjoys four-wheeling, hunting, camping, and fishing. Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service and Osseo Automotive are proud to have Larry represent us as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Thursday, February 20, 2020 11:17 AM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Mel Jorgenson
    HealthPartners Medical Transportation
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Community has always been something near and dear to Mel Jorgenson’s heart. At her rural EMS department, she has helped develop numerous outreach programs and events that have made a tremendous positive impact on her community and the county as a whole. These programs include First Aid Instruction, Car Seat Safety, Geriatric Falls Prevention, and a free Community Safety Day that educates over 300 children and families on safety and awareness.

    When the time comes and the tones drop, Mel always drops everything to help those in need. She brings with her a sense of calmness, and when she arrives on the scene everyone feels a sense of relief. On one call Mel responded to for a pulseless non-breather (PNB) adult male, there was a large amount of family present when the ambulance arrived. The responding staff were new to the service, making this the first resuscitation they had ever worked. Mel arrived on scene and immediately took charge of the incident. When you hear "take charge" people typically think of someone running the show and telling people what to do, but that's not how Mel takes charge. She is an educator at heart and that's exactly what she does in the field. She was able to coach the staff through the situation, answer their questions, and explain the importance of what they were doing. She then educated the family on what was happening and what to expect next. Ultimately, Mel was calm amid the chaos of a very serious emergency, which resulted in a save. Mel's not your average medical provider, she is someone that goes above and beyond each and every day, making those around her better. We are honored to nominate Mel as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:34 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Steve Woodstock
    Baraboo District Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Steve Woodstock has worked for Baraboo Ambulance for three years. In his time with the service, he has worked to implement an inventory management system, taught at our training center, and ran many 911 and critical care transfers. Steve is an excellent Paramedic and patients have commented on the compassionate care they received while in his care.

    Steve is an Acting Lieutenant on his shift.  He is the kind of person that every service would love to have working for them.  If he sees something that needs to be done, he always steps up and takes on the responsibility of getting it done.    

    Our training center is capable of teaching EMR, EMT, and AEMT courses, and Steve has been involved in instructing at all these levels.  He is an excellent instructor that students respect and like. He looks forward to the future of our service, which is rapidly excelling and growing to reach its fullest potential. Steve has also received the Employee of the Year Award from Baraboo District Ambulance Service for his exemplary performance of duties. We are proud to nominate Steve as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:22 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Rachel Willer
    Baraboo District Ambulance Service
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Rachel Willer has worked part-time for Baraboo District Ambulance as a billing coder for the past three years. She truly enjoys working for the district and takes pride in being part of such a dedicated service. She has a Communication Degree with an emphasis in Public Relations, and she loves to write. Her writing skills have proved invaluable and have helped Baraboo EMS secure the Assistance to Firefighter Grant, providing a fully funded bariatric ambulance to the service. Rachel received the Chief’s Award for her ability to rewrite our grant application so that it was finally accepted. Her writing and creative skills are also being utilized to update the ambulance service’s new social media page. When she is not at work, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and her three children, Tilly, Max and Gus. We are so grateful to have Rachel as a part of our team and are happy to nominate her as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

  • Wednesday, February 19, 2020 2:18 PM | Meghan Winesett (Administrator)

    Wendall Bare
    Ryan Brothers Ambulance
    2020 Wisconsin Star of Life

    Wendall Bare has been an Advanced EMT with Ryan Brothers Ambulance since June of 2009 and he will be retiring from EMS this summer to be able to spend more time with his family and grandchildren. His family moved to Portage, WI in 1993, where he joined the local EMS service, Paske Ambulance Service, which overtime became Divine Savior Hospital EMS. After passing his EMT-I class 11 years ago, he began working for Ryan Brothers Ambulance. Wendall says that working in EMS has been very challenging, but also very rewarding. He has enjoyed watching the industry grow and change in so many ways over the last 34 years. Wendall has given a lifetime of service to his community and he has been an instrumental part of the Ryan Brothers Fleet Maintenance and Fleet team.  He has initiated a Cot Maintenance Program and has created important training videos for employee training.  To help keep his fellow employees healthy, Wendall implemented the use of ultra violet light units for ambulances and crew quarters.

    The first encounter that sparked Wendall’s interest in EMS was while he was a member of the Mt. Pleasant, Iowa Volunteer Fire Dept.  He was called to a major accident with multiple people injured.  Being strictly on the fire side, he felt helpless on scene and wanted to be able to do more. Soon after, his volunteer department offered an EMS Basic class, and he signed up right away. At the time, Wendall was married with 3 boys and figured at a minimum, the knowledge he would obtain would help with all the bumps, scrapes, and injuries his boys were seeming to acquire daily. He also had experience in being in stressful and dangerous situations because he served as a Combat Life Saver during the first Desert Storm. He always has a smile on his face and is ready to help with any task that is needed to make Ryan Brothers a better place. He will truly be missed upon his retirement. Congratulations Wendall, a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!

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