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Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance
2020 Wisconsin Star of Life
Dawn Swanson began her career in EMS seven and a half years ago when she decided to go from owning her own beauty salon to a working full time as an EMT at Tri-State Ambulance. Looking for something more challenging and a way to help a wider variety of people, she spent two years as an EMT before going back to school to become a Paramedic in 2014. After proving herself as an effective medic, she moved on to become a Preceptor and Field Training Officer, training EMT and Paramedic students and new employees. After four years of exemplary performance in these endeavors, Dawn is now a leader in the field as a Corporal, leading the coordination of retention and recruitment efforts, scheduling employees, and working directly with management to provide top quality patient care and service to the community.
Dawn truly enjoys teaching and leading the EMTs and Paramedics at Tri-State and has received much praise from former students and trainees and her current coworkers for her patience, caring attitude, and dedication to everyone she works with. She is always willing to answer questions, sit down to review something, and take time to check in on her co-workers. She truly cares for each individual at the company and is an excellent provider. She is an outstanding example of leadership at Tri-State and has goals to continue advancing further within the organization.
When not on an ambulance, Dawn enjoys spending time with her family. Her daughter is a freshman in college and her son is a sophomore in high school and their various athletic events keep her busy. She also loves new experiences, especially traveling. We are proud to nominate Dawn as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!
Gundersen Tri-State Ambualnce
2020 Wisconsin Star of Life
Rick Conway currently works as a full-time dispatcher and call taker for Gundersen Health System’s Medical Communications – MedComm, where he provides lifesaving EMD pre-arrival orders to 911 callers in a five-county region and dispatches ambulances and helicopters to an even broader area. When he is not in MedComm, Rick can be found working on an ambulance or for the Onalaska Fire Department as a Firefighter and EMS Training Officer.
Rick began his career in public safety in 1977 as Firefighter in a small rural Wisconsin community. In 1984 he successfully completed EMT training and began his EMS career volunteering for multiple rural Wisconsin communities. In 1988 he moved to La Crosse and began working for Tri-State Ambulance as both an EMT and a Dispatcher. Back then, Tri-State only operated two ambulances full-time, one at the paramedic level and the other at the EMT level, with crews rotating between dispatch and ambulance duty.
One of Rick’s favorite ambulance assignments is working special events. Rick’s friendly and accommodating attitude has made him a go-to person at most of our routine special events. Just last year, our local stock car racetrack honored Rick by featuring him on their social media pages and through crowd announcements. Everyone knows Rick by name, and he represents both EMS and our organization very well.
When asked what his favorite part of working in EMS is, Rick’s responses were not at all surprising. His favorite part is caring for people in need and his second favorite part is having the opportunity to meet and interact with so many people on a daily basis, particularly at special events.
Rick currently lives in Onalaska, Wisconsin with his wife Kari and has two sons and three grandchildren who live nearby. Rick’s primary joy in life is his family and the time he spends with them whether that be at family gatherings or just a quiet night at home. We are so thankful to have Rick as a part of our team and are happy to award him as a 2020 Star of Life!
Gundersen Tri-State Regional Ambulance
2020 Wisconsin Star of Life
Prior to his full-time work in EMS, Nate Allen spent seven years with the Wisconsin Army National Guard where he performed a wide variety of duties including heavy equipment operations and heavy vehicle operations. From 2012-2013, Nate was deployed to the Kandahar Province in Afghanistan where he was part of Operation Enduring Freedom, working as part of the Battlefield Circulation Team supplying and re-supplying the deployed platoons.
Nate has worked for many years as an EMT and AEMT and has his Associate Degrees in both Law Enforcement and in EMS as a Paramedic. Nate continues to expand his knowledge daily and remains up to date with new clinical developments and EMS related issues. Nate also gives back to the community by teaching CPR, first aid, and tourniquet training to a variety of community groups, churches, and law enforcement agencies. He is always willing to modify his schedule to accommodate community education.
Nate receives praise from his co-workers, who refer to him as “a walking textbook.” He is always willing to answer questions or explain things, especially to newer employees. He is a huge patient advocate, and he always wants to do what is best for them. Nate has some of the best patient assessment skills that his educators have observed and is extremely detailed with each and every patient. Nate’s goal is to one day become an EMS service director.
Nate was born in Lancaster, WI and is the youngest of five kids. Nate and his wife, Chasity now live in Bloomington, WI and have three children of their own, ages 12 to 3 years old. They also have seven rabbits and two cats. Nate's hobbies include Firefighting, EMS, radio programming, and spending time with his family. We thank Nate for his service and are honored to nominate him as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!
Dr. Mark Moore
Gold Cross Ambulance
2020 Wisconsin Star of Life
Dr. F. Mark Moore was recruited by Dr. Thomas Loescher to come to Appleton, WI at the ACEP conference in San Francisco in 1972. Dr. Loescher was spearheading an effort to provide 24-hour emergency room physician coverage in the Emergency Department at St. Elizabeth Hospital and he also had plans to develop a paramedic program in Appleton. One of the things about Dr. Moore that interested Dr. Loescher, was that he had served in Vietnam, and had seen first-hand the value of medics saving lives on the battlefield. Dr. Moore agreed to come to the Fox Valley to work in the ER, but the job also entailed helping train the first groups of paramedics outside of Madison and Milwaukee.While Dr. Loescher took care of the administrative duties, the training of the medics was entrusted to Dr. Moore, who arrived in 1973. Dr. Moore taught the EMTs emergency medicine and supervised their clinical experiences in the emergency department. He also enlisted other Appleton physicians to teach special areas, including intubation, cardiology, obstetrics, psychiatrics, orthopedics, and pediatrics. Dr. Moore said, “We decided to train the paramedics here rather than sending them to Madison or Milwaukee so that the local physicians could be involved in the teaching; they would know what the paramedics were capable of doing and would understand how the program works. And this approach has worked. The physician community in Appleton is very supportive of the program. There was no written curriculum and no guidelines to follow. We designed and taught the equivalent of basic, intermediate and advanced paramedic skills in blocks.” Dr. Moore and other ER physicians rode along on EMS runs, provided public education, lectured at EMS conferences, and sought federal funding for equipment for the ambulances. They even made a film to be shown to the public to promote “this new EMS” to the public. He went on to say, “The paramedics are our eyes, ears, and hands in the field. They are a special breed of people.”
In 1980, Dr. Moore issued written “Protocols of the Appleton-Neenah-Waupaca Paramedic Program.” In 1981, under his direction, these same paramedics became the first EMS group outside of Madison and Milwaukee to be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support.
Dr. Moore truly was one of the pioneers of EMS in Wisconsin. He served for 48 years in emergency medicine before retiring in July, 2019 and now lives in Berlin, WI.We are very excited to nominate Dr. Moore as a 2020 Wisconsin Star of Life!
Please nominate yourself or another person for the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin's open board seat by March 1, 2020. This is an interim seat, with a term of service ending at the 2020 PAAW Annual Membership Meeting in the third quarter.
Please note that in order to nominate a candidate your organization must be a member in good standing. The person nominated (whether yourself or someone else) must be a professional member of PAAW in good standing from a Governmental (i.e., municipal, county-owned, or fire-based) service as this is the member type for which there is a board vacancy.
If you have multiple nominees, please complete and submit multiple times.
Nominations will be reviewed by the PAAW board and an appointee will be selected to fill the vacant seat.
Thank you for your ongoing support and participation.
Don't see the embedded form below? Open the nomination form in another browser window.
On January 15, 2020, PAAW elected a new President, Chris Anderson of Bell Ambulance. Nick Romenesko of Gold Cross was elected Vice President during the same board meeting. Tom Tornstrom continues to serve as Treasurer, and Cody Doucette continues his service as Secretary.
For the full list of PAAW board leaders, please visit the PAAW site.
Nominations will open shortly to fill the vacant Municipal/Government director seat.
The PAAW board would like to thank former President Dana Sechler for his many years of service, and wishes him well in his retirement.
Bookmark these important links from the System Quality and Data Committee of the Wisconsin EMS Board!
Pre-Hospital Hemorrhage Control: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02345.pdf
Cardiac Arrest Ambulance Runs: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02424.pdf
Pediatric Ambulance Runs: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02508.pdf
PAAW President Dana Sechler and Director Mark Fredrickson recognized PFFW Executive Member Jerry Biggart with a Partnership Award. PAAW decided to recognize Jerry for his contributions to the coalition over the past several years. PAAW, PFFW, WSFCA, and WEMSA have come together on a number of legislative initiatives in recent years, and Jerry has been there since the beginning. “I have a lot of respect for the work Jerry does, and the type of person he is. He really opened the door between fire-based and private or municipal EMS services” says Fredrickson.
Jerry was recognized during the Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin conference held in Green Bay, Wi September 18th – 20th. “It is always nice to be recognized for your work, and having the opportunity to work with the coalition to make an impact none of us could do alone is humbling” shared Biggart.
PAAW is dedicated to healthy and sustainable ambulance and EMS delivery in the state of Wisconsin, a tall order for one association. “We know that our collective voice is stronger than any single organization on their own, so we set our differences aside and focus on opportunities to work together” explains President Sechler. PAAW is proud to be a part of the coalition and the legislative impact they have made so far but knows there are many more hills to climb. Keep watching PAAW’s website, social media, and email for updates on what is coming next.
The notice below was received by PAAW leadership on September 10 regarding the Emergency Triage, Treat, and Transport (ET3) Model program.
All – I have been informed that legislative changes are being introduced that will allow for services to participate in the ET3 pilot program proposed by CMMI and CMS. Wisconsin agencies interested in applying for the ET3 pilot are encouraged to do so as soon as possible due to the deadline for applications being September 19, 2019 (nine days from now). We are very much aware of the short time frame for applying and encourage you to share this news with your agency, any partner organizations, stakeholders, and membership of your representational groups. We understand the CMMI and CMS may be releasing a “round two” and “round three” opportunity in the future but have no other details on that at this time. We will be pushing out updates on the legislative initiative as we receive them.
Specific information can be found on the ET3 Model main page, the ET3 Frequently Asked Questions page and the ET3 Model Eligibility Fact Sheet. There are additional resources listed on those pages.
Mark Lockhart, NRPEMS Section Chief, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health CareWisconsin Department of Health ServicesMain: 608-266-1568 | Direct: 608-261-6870
Congratulations to the following winners of the Savvik/PAAW 5.11 Tactical Giveaway!
Colfax RescueDonald Knutson, Director
St. Croix Emergency ServicesJoanne Kenney, Office Manager
Gundersen Tri-State AmbulanceEric Ellis, Operations Supervisor
Learn more about how Savvik can help YOUR ambulance service save big at www.savvik.org.
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