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  • Friday, October 05, 2018 11:46 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    By Samantha Hilker

    Nick Romenesko was voted on the PAAW Board during executive session at the September 20th meeting. 

    Nick brings with him nine years of experience in EMS.  I have watched Nick grow as a paramedic throughout his career at member organization Gold Cross Ambulance; he is smart, dedicated and incredibly professional.  He knows how to have fun and make you laugh after a tough call, but also pushes himself and those around him to improve each day.  Here’s the thing about Nick, though...you know all those dreaded millennials people are always pontificating about?  Yep – he’s one of them!  A few weeks ago, Nick was promoted to Systems Director at Gold Cross Ambulance Service, Inc. and when I shared the news with a colleague the immediate response was “isn’t he really young for that?”.  Yes, he is young, but he is also driven, committed and, most importantly, capable. 

    Nick started his EMS career in Milwaukee a with member-organization Bell Ambulance and then returned to the Fox Valley as a paramedic with Gold Cross where he flourished. Nick chaired the Safety Committee and became integral to the internal education and quality program while earning his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership.  I think the most important thing to note about Nick, is that he cares.  He cares about his people, he cares about his work, the organization he’s charged with leading, and he cares about the future of EMS for everyone involved. 

    There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about attracting, retaining and engaging millennials – we even had a session dedicated to the topic at Midwest EMS Expo, and PAAW published two podcasts on the subject – perhaps electing one to the board is a good start at bridging the generational divide. 

    Congratulations, Nick, and welcome to PAAW!

  • Friday, October 05, 2018 11:42 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    By Samantha Hilker

    Jon Cohn was voted on the PAAW Board during executive session at the September 20th meeting.  Jon brings with him 26 years of experience in the fire service and EMS and currently serves as the Chief of Greenfield Fire Rescue.  Jon has also served as President of the Wisconsin State Fire Chief’s Association and held various instructor roles in higher education.   

    Jon is humble and doesn’t like to talk about himself.  Getting a bio out of him for the 2018 Midwest EMS Expo (view here!) was like pulling teeth, and he basically gave me free reign over this profile piece.  Instead of copying and pasting the information available via LinkedIn or the Midwest EMS Expo bio, I’m going to share my personal story of Jon Cohn (the short version, don’t worry!). 

    The first time I met Jon we were both in Ft. Worth, Texas visiting MedStar’s MIH program to learn about their experience, design and how we might bring it back to our respective services in Wisconsin.  To set the stage, I was one of two representatives from a private ambulance service (and the other guy came with me).  The rest of the room consisted of representatives from career fire departments, a representative from the fire union, and a few representatives from a health care organization in the Milwaukee area.  Don’t get me wrong – they were all genuinely nice people, some of which I knew before that visit, but my colleague and I found ourselves sitting quietly on the outer perimeter of the room watching, listening and absorbing.  Jon was the only person in the room to walk over to us, extend a hand, introduce himself and ask for our perspective, as representatives from a private service.  It was clear from that moment that Jon was excited at the opportunity to raise the bar of EMS in the State of Wisconsin whether it be through a community paramedic program or other ways that encouraged collaboration and relationship building.  I didn’t see Jon again until a chance meeting at the CPR in Schools bill signing in Central Wisconsin years later.  He remembered me immediately and was quick to walk up and say hello, catch up on what was new and exciting in our respective regions and share his excitement for the CPR in Schools initiative. 

    So why am I telling you about the first two times I met Jon?  Because those two encounters are examples of why I was happy to see Jon elected to the PAAW Board – his focus on progress, commitment to relationships, and hope for the future are qualities that lead to transformative change and future growth.  Jon believes it is easy (but wrong) to focus on our mission and serve with individual or organizational interests in mind.  The challenge (and most effective) is to focus on our future, the vision and serve the totality of the industry and the interests of all. 

    Congratulations, Jon, and welcome to PAAW!

  • Friday, September 28, 2018 5:21 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    From the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health

    The Wisconsin Office of Rural Health is holding a series of EMS listening sessions in rural areas across the state in October and November of this year.

    The intent is to give a platform for rural EMS providers to describe their work, and the conditions in which they operate. Wisconsin has seen a steady decrease in volunteerism over the last two decades, and municipal budgets are stretched very thin, leading to the closure of several rural services in the last few years. The final portion of the evening will be dedicated to sharing ideas for solutions that could help rural EMS providers to keep their doors open while providing quality patient care.

    At each event, state legislators, county and municipal leaders, hospital leadership, and citizens at large will be invited to attend. The messages from the meetings should echo beyond that room, to the policy makers that can address the situation.

    These events are held in collaboration with the WI EMS Association (WEMSA), the Professional Ambulance Association of WI (PAAW), the WI State Fire Chiefs Association (WSFCA), the Professional Firefighters of WI (PFFW), and the WI EMS Board.

    Locations and Dates Scheduled:

    • Spooner: Monday, October 8th, from 6:30-8:30pm at Spooner Health System Hospital, 1280 Chandler Drive, Spooner (Classrooms A and B)
    • Woodruff: Tuesday, October 9th, from 6:30-8:30pm at Howard Young Medical Center, 240 Maple St, Woodruff
    • Oconto Falls: Wednesday, October 10th, from 6:30-8:30pm at HSHS St. Clare’s Memorial Hospital, 855 S Main St, Oconto Falls
    • Boscobel: Wednesday, November 7th, from 6:30-8:30pm at Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital (specific location tbd)

    For updated information on rooms and locations, and new sites as they are added to the list, please visit: http://worh.org/events/rural-ems-listening-sessions

  • Tuesday, September 25, 2018 2:31 PM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    PAAW has a new mailing address. Would you please update your records?

    PAAW c/o AAA
    1420 New York Ave NW
    5th Floor
    Washington, DC 20005

    Thank you for your continued support and participation.

  • Monday, September 24, 2018 7:20 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    On a recent EMS in Wisconsin Podcast, LuAnn Slater & Heidi Romansheck joined to share information about the change from social security numbers (SSN) to the new alpha-numeric Medicare Beneficiary Numbers.  Distribution for Wisconsin residents is completed, but here are some resources you might find helpful. 

  • Thursday, September 20, 2018 10:33 PM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    Congratulations to Nick Romenesko of Gold Cross Ambulance and Jon Cohn of Greenfield Fire! Today, Nick and Jon were appointed to the vacant PAAW board seats. We look forward to working even more closely with these two, and thank them for their support and participation.

  • Tuesday, September 18, 2018 7:39 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    Today, ambulance services from across the state will receive an email survey from the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health. Service directors, please be on the lookout for an email from pdblack@qualtrics-survey.com!

  • Friday, September 07, 2018 12:49 AM | Amanda Riordan (Administrator)

    From the Wisconsin Department of Public Health:

    Responding to an emergency situation can be both rewarding and taxing on individuals. First responders coming back from a prolonged deployment may face challenges adjusting to their normal routine. People may display symptoms and reactions such as:

    • Emotional symptoms such as irritability or excessive sadness.
    • Cognitive dysfunction such as difficulty making decisions or following directions.
    • Physical symptoms such as headache, stomach pain, or difficulty breathing.
    • Behavioral reactions such as consuming more alcohol or interpersonal conflict.
    • Failure to adhere to needed physical or psychiatric medication needs.

    Self-Care Pocket Reference Guide for Emergency Response Deployment P-01435 (PDF, 256 KB) - A guide for volunteer responders that includes pre- and post- deployment checklists and self-reflection activities. This resource was originally created for the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health, and reprinted with their permission.

  • Wednesday, August 29, 2018 2:51 PM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    VIDEO RELEASE EVENT: Fentanyl: The Real Deal

    The video is designed for roll call training and reinforces key messages from Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders.

    Join us for the launch of the video on livestream August 30 at 2:00 pm ET


    Senior Federal Officials

    • U.S. Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein
    • Office of Justice Programs, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Laura L. Rogers
    • Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, Director Jon Adler
    • Office of National Drug Control Policy, Deputy Director James W. Carroll
    • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Assistant Administrator John Martin

    Representatives from National Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS Associations

    • Fraternal Order of Police, National Vice President, Jay McDonald
    • National Sheriffs’ Association, Executive Director, Jonathan Thompson
    • International Association of Chiefs of Police, Member of the Board of Directors and Chief of Police, Norwood, Massachusetts, William Brooks III
    • International Association of Fire Fighters, General President, Harold Schaitberger
    • National Volunteer Fire Council, Director-at-large for EMS/Rescue Section Executive Committee and Lieutenant, Princeton Junction Fire Department, Brian Foley
    • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, President, Dennis Rowe
    • National Association of EMS Physicians, President, Dr. Brent Myers

  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018 11:48 AM | PAAW Administrator (Administrator)

    By Samantha Hilker

    “It was the most humbling and exciting experience of my life…”

    Dave Mike was selected as the Professional Ambulance Association’s Star of Stars at the 2017 Wisconsin Star of Life Awards.  Dave was selected from 29 of his peers who were also honored at the event held in conjunction with the Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin Conference in Green Bay.  Although all 30 stars had amazing stories, something about Dave stood out.  22 somethings, actually…

    About 14 years ago Dave and his wife decided to give foster care a try, and in early 2004 they took in their first foster child.  Since then, they have fostered 22 children.  TWENTY TWO.  They also lead and facilitate a foster and adoptive parent support group through their church in Whitefish Bay. 

    As the Star of Stars, Dave was able to attend the American Ambulance Association’s Stars of Life event this past June in Washington D.C. which included Capitol Hill visits with elected officials, a luncheon at the National Press Club, and sightseeing with his wife and two of his daughters.  “Being selected as the Wisconsin Star of Stars was the most humbling and exciting experience of my life.  I cannot thank Paratech, PAAW, and the American Ambulance Association enough for the experience” shared Dave. 

    As a 45-year veteran in EMS, Dave has seen a lot of changes to our profession.  His smile is contagious and his attitude inspiring; he offered some advice for those just starting out, or wondering if a long and successful EMS career is really in the cards for them…

    “You have to be in it for the people.  If you care about the people you are taking care of, you will be happy.  I tell foster families the same thing – you have to be in it for the people.  You also need to find something away from work (EMS) that makes you happy.  You need that time away from all of the stress and terrible things we see to rest and recharge.”

    A big part of the Stars event is learning about how government relations and advocacy effects EMS, and how important it is to get out there on a local, state, regional and national level to share our story with elected officials.  Dave would love to see all of us in EMS getting more involved as a “newbie” or a veteran of the profession and suggests city council meetings as a great place to start.

    PAAW appreciates all EMS providers in the State of Wisconsin and across the nation.  The Stars events are a great opportunity to recognize and honor the amazing work you do on a daily basis, and we look forward to another Wisconsin banquet in 2019!

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