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Welcome letter from PAAW President Patrick Ryan


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October 24, 2014

Wisconsin EMS Office Upgraded to "Section" Status


According to the State of Wisconsin EMS website, the EMS office underwent a status change, effective October 1, 2014.  Formerly considered an “EMS Unit” these past few years, the office was upgraded and reinstated to its former classification as “Section”, and is referred to the “EMS Section” within state government.


While the move doesn’t bring back the glory years dating back to the late 1990’s and early 2000’s when the EMS office was considered a “Bureau”, the move to Section is nonetheless welcomed.

October 18, 2014

Wisconsin DHS Holds EMS Webcast for Potential Ebola Response

On Friday October 17, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health hosted a webcast for healthcare agencies and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide information on preparing for and responding to Ebola. 

Webcast playback can be viewed at this link:

It is best to view the webcast using either Internet Explorer or Google Chrome for your browser.

The Department of Health Services continues to work with local public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals, EMS, emergency management, medical examiners and coroners, and other partners to prepare for potential Ebola cases.

Questions regarding Ebola can be sent to DHS email address

October 15, 2014

Orange Cross, Plymouth Ambulance Announce Merger

Orange Cross Ambulance Service and Plymouth Ambulance Service have merged into one company that will serve the City of Sheboygan, surrounding communities and the western part of Sheboygan County.


The merger was effective Wednesday, Oct. 1.


Andy Bagnall, president and CEO of St. Nicholas Hospital and the president of Orange Cross, said the merger came about after months of talks between the two organizations.

“We have the same role in our distinct communities,” Bagnall said. “We realized quickly we can be pretty strong together through shared services, shared structures.”


Terry Abler, president of Plymouth Ambulance Service, was not available for comment. But in a press release, Abler said the merger will help both ambulance services stay strong into the future.


“By coming together, we will enhance the quality of service we provide to the City of Plymouth and western portion of Sheboygan County,” he said. “We can ensure longterm sustainability by streamlining operations, taking advantage of shared services and providing long-term financial strength for our communities.”


Orange Cross Ambulance Service began in 1979, operates as a 50/50 joint venture of Aurora Health Care and St. Nicholas Hospital and provides paramedic-level, critical care ambulance service. Plymouth Ambulance Service has been in service for more than 20 years.


Orange Cross will retain its locations in Sheboygan and Plymouth, and it will continue to be a non-profit entity.


During the transition period, which will take several months, Plymouth Ambulance Service will retain its logo on ambulances.


Eventually, the logo and the name will be phased out and the Plymouth Ambulance Service corporation will be dissolved, Bagnall said.


As part of the transition, an advisory committee made up of members of the defunct Plymouth Ambulance Service board of directors will monitor how well the new service is being received and advise Orange Cross on improvement, Bagnall said.


Orange Cross averages 3,600 runs per year and has 31 employees. Plymouth Ambulance averages 1,700 runs per year and has 36 employees.


Currently, Bagnall said, there are no plans to cut the number of employees from either organization.


“As of right now, we’re not looking at that,” he said. “We’re really focused on merging, trying to figure out how to have the two cultures combine. We have a lot more similarities than differences.”

Source:  Sheboygen Press

October 15, 2014

Sports cars to speed up paramedics' response times to emergencies in Dubai

Paramedics in Dubai will soon be able to speed to the scene of traffic accidents and other emergencies in a high-powered sports car that can hit 260kph (or 161 mph), dramatically reducing response times.

The two-seater was unveiled at the Gitex Technology Week at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Sunday. The car is equipped with most of the same emergency and first-aid equipment that is carried in a regular ambulance.

“We can handle all kinds of emergencies,” said Zaid Al Mamari, a paramedic with the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services. “It is fitted with a responder bag, suction unit, foam splints for fractures, cardiac defibrillators and oxygen bags.”

The vehicle also carries a mobile data terminal to key in patient data and vital stats that can be transmitted to hospitals ahead of a regular ambulance arriving at the scene.

Two more Ford Mustangs will be added to the fleet of First Responder vehicles. Currently, the response time for a regular ambulance is eight minutes, but officials said the target time for all ambulances, including the sports car, was under four.

Source:  The National

October 13, 2014

CDC releases EMS checklist for detecting, managing Ebola

The guidelines highlight key areas to enhance overall preparation and response to potential or diagnosed Ebola patients

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a checklist aimed at preparing EMS agencies to recognize and treat patients with Ebola.

Highlights include:

  • Train all EMS personnel on how to identify signs and symptoms of Ebola infections and to avoid risk of exposure
  • Consider travelers with fever, fatigue, vomiting and/or diarrhea and returning from affected West African countries as potential cases, and obtain additional history.
  • Post screening criteria in conspicuous locations in EMS units, at EMS stations, and in other locations frequented by EMS personnel (see suggested screening criteria).
  • Designate points of contact within their EMS organization/system responsible for communicating with state and local public health officials. Remember: Ebola must be reported to local, state, and federal public health authorities.
  • Conduct a detailed inventory of available supplies of PPE suitable for standard, contact, and droplet precautions. Ensure an adequate supply, for EMS personnel, of:
    • Fluid resistant or impermeable gowns
    • Gloves
    • Shoe covers, boots, and booties
  • Maintain an appropriate combination of the following:
    • Eye protection (face shield or goggles)
    • Facemasks (goggles or face shield must be worn with facemasks)
    • N95 respirators (for use during aerosol-generating procedures)
    • Other infection control supplies (e.g. hand hygiene supplies).
  • Ensure procedures are in place to require that all EMS personnel accompanying a patient in a transport unit are wearing (at minimum): gloves, gown (fluid resistant or impermeable), eye protection (goggles or face shield), and a facemask
  • Review, develop, and implement plans for: adequate respiratory support, safe administration of medication, and sharps procedures; and reinforce proper biohazard containment and disposal precautions
  • Plan for regular situational briefs for decision-makers, including:
    • PUI for Ebola who have been identified and reported to public health authorities
    • Isolation, quarantine and exposure reports
    • Supplies and logistical challenges
    • Personnel status
    • Policy decisions on contingency plans and staffing​​

​​Read the full checklist


October 7, 2014

Ebola Virus Preparedness Information

Last week's healthcare team failure in Dallas highlights an important lesson about complex teamwork. In the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, the emergency room nurse properly executed a CDC-supplied checklist to screen emergency patients for signs of Ebola.

Checklists have greatly reduced airplane disasters and lowered rates of surgical infection and wrong-limb amputation. However, checklists are only a tool and are only as useful as the strong communication work of a team, as the Dallas case unfortunately demonstrates.

The ASPR and CDC have developed a Detailed Hospital Checklist for Ebola Preparedness to highlight activities that all hospitals can take to prepare for the possibility of a patient exposed to Ebola arriving for medical care. This webinar is especially for hospital emergency managers, infection control officers, hospital leadership, and clinical staff. The checklist provides practical and specific suggestions to ensure your hospital is able to detect possible Ebola cases, protect your employees and respond appropriately.  EMS agencies should consider using the information as a guide. Click here to view the webinar.

In addition, the below communications was emailed last week from the Wisconsin EMS Office regarding the Ebola virus. 

As a follow up to previous communications related to this deadly virus below are links to the latest information available to all healthcare workers from the CDC. Please use this material in advance of dealing with a patient you suspect may have been exposed to this virus.

This information is also available from our website - ems/

October 6, 2014

Wisconsin's STEMI Coordinators Request EMS Input

The Wisconsin STEMI coordinators group met on October 3 in Janesville.  The group met to discuss statewide STEMI efforts, statewide benchmarks and recent convers
ations at the State Capitol.  In addition, the group sought input from EMS representatives.

PAAW President Patrick Ryan was invited to speak at the meeting.  He offered this comment afterwards, "We appreciate the STEMI coordinators' invitation.  It is great to see them include EMS in their statewide planning, since ambulance services are an important and essential part to developing any successful statewide program."

September 17, 2014

Jack Hill Named Wisconsin Honorary Star of Life

On September 17, Jack Hill, executive director at Gold Cross Ambulance Service, headquartered in Menasha, was named 2014 Wisconsin Honorary Star of Life and Lifetime Member of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin. 


The award was presented by the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin where Hill is treasurer and serves on the board of directors.  Governor Scott Walker acknowledged the moment by providing Hill with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of service to citizens of Wisconsin.  The award presentation and recognition dinner was held at Tundra Lodge in Green Bay during the annual Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin Conference.  Several Gold Cross employees, pictured above with Hill, attended the program to celebrate the occasion.


During his 21 years of leadership, Gold Cross has grown from 60 employees to more than 160, and from 8 ambulances to 17. The company has incorporated new technologies and clinical care protocols while he’s been at the helm, and has expanded to become a regional service covering 1,200 square miles of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet and Waupaca counties, serving more than 260,000 people.


As a part-time police officer in mid-1976 in his home town of Hoyt Lakes, MN, Hill got a taste of the career that would eventually become his passion.  He was hired at Gold Cross in 1985 as a paramedic, when he decided to turn his volunteer EMS work into a career. Today, looking back over 29 years with Gold Cross, he remains committed to the quality, efficiency, dedication, compassion and professionalism that characterize the company and his life.


In early 2015, Jack and Noi Hill will live part-time in Thailand, spending time with family, enjoying a life of retirement and new adventures.

(Picture insert, left to right, Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin President Patrick Ryan, Jack Hill, Noi Hill)

Click here for News and Information archive.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, November 06, 2014 10:00 AM • Tri-State Ambulance Service Boardroom, 235 Causeway Blvd., La Crosse, WI
Monday, November 17, 2014 10:00 AM • Conference Call - Contact Association for Call-in Number
Tuesday, December 02, 2014 • Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI
Monday, December 15, 2014 10:00 AM • Conference Call - Contact Association for Call-in Number
Thursday, January 08, 2015 10:00 AM • Divine Savior Healthcare (Hospital), Portage, WI
Tuesday, February 03, 2015 • Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI
Thursday, March 05, 2015 10:00 AM • Divine Savior Healthcare (Hospital), Portage, WI
Tuesday, April 07, 2015 • Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI
Thursday, May 07, 2015 10:00 AM • Divine Savior Healthcare (Hospital), Portage, WI
Tuesday, June 02, 2015 • Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI

Click here for all meetings, events and educational offerings in the calendar.

Click here for the next PAAW Board of Directors meeting information.

PAAW is pleased to partner with the following industry leading organizations:


Current PAAW Priorities

Tax Refund Interception Program (TRIP)

WI Liability Limits Statute 893.80

Further Collaboration with the Dept of Health Services/EMS Office

WI Medicaid Patient Transportation Rates

Affordable Care Act Information

Working with EMS/Fire Stakeholder Associations

Patient Contacts or Emergency Calls

to PAAW Member Ambulance

Services Last Year

Over 400,000

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Cardiotronix: A Single Source EMS Equipment Maintenance Provider

(Posted 10/8/14 - Run Time 15:31 seconds)


Craig Harmon

For the newest audio webcast, or to review the library of previous ones, click here.


PAAW continues to monitor the ongoing EMS pharmaceutical drug and IV Fluids backorder situation by posting weekly updates, courtesy of Bound Tree Medical.

For the most recent backorder report, click here.  The report is updated every Monday afternoon and posted to the PAAW website on Tuesday.

Through a special arrangement with EMS World magazine, PAAW members receive a free 12-month subscription, a $40 value. 

Stay on top of national EMS news, tips, a variety of topics and special reports - delivered right to your home or work address or e-mail account the beginning of every month!  If a PAAW member click here to receive this benefit. 

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Monitor Police, Fire and EMS Radio Traffic Around the U.S.!

Browse over 2,000 police, fire and EMS scanner monitoring stations around the U.S. with a simple click of your computer mouse.  It's sure to make any scanner junkie go wild!

Click here to find out more about selecting your own monitoring station or click the scanner below to open the audio player for Milwaukee County Fire radio traffic.

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