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Welcome letter from PAAW President Patrick Ryan


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January 28, 2014

Union loses fight against doing EMS house calls

The union for Green Bay firefighters has lost a nearly two-year fight against a city initiative requiring firefighters to make house calls on discharged hospital patients.

A state labor arbitrator has ruled the city was within its rights to initiate a program in which Bellin Hospital paid the city $50 for each house call.

But whether the so-called Hook and Ladder program will move forward in its original structure remains to be seen.

City officials suspended the program indefinitely while awaiting a decision on the grievance filed by the Green Bay Professional Fire Fighters Association.

The union argued that Hook and Ladder was an improper expansion of firefighters duties and that the city could not impose such new assignments unilaterally under the union's contract.

>> Read more

Source:  Green Bay Press Gazette

January 28, 2014

PAAW Completes 2015-2017 Strategic Work Plan

By Joe Covelli, PAAW Executive Director


At its January 8th board of directors meeting, the Professional Ambulance Association approved its 2015 – 2017 strategic work plan.  The plan was developed on December 1, 2014 when association members, staff, consultants, and invited guests attended the all-day meeting.


The top priority calls for continuing to build momentum gained last year and introduce legislation in the current session to expand TRIP – Taxpayer Refund Intercept Program.  Currently, only municipal ambulance services can access TRIP and file with the state to collect unpaid transport bills from the patient’s tax refund.  PAAW is working with legislators to introduce legislation that allow ambulance services contracted by a municipality to provide 911 services the same TRIP collection benefits for unpaid patient transports.  The reception by legislators to the idea has been favorable.


Additional items in the strategic work plan include community paramedicine, Medicaid reimbursement rates, ongoing communications, member growth, and advancing EMS leader networking opportunities.  The Wisconsin Stars of Life Awards Program will change to an every other year event, with the next one being held in September 2015, and one honoree from the group advancing to the national Stars of Life in Washington D.C. in March 2016.

January 27, 2014

MedEvac Foundation funds sleep study for EMS clinicians

The MedEvac Foundation International has approved grant funding for Dr. Daniel Patterson to investigate sleep-wake patterns and real-time fatigue reduction in emergency medical service (EMS) clinicians.

The medical transportation community requires that emergency care be available 24 hours per day. Shift work requires the prehospital emergency clinician to diverge from normal circadian sleep cycles and be alert when the pressure to sleep is greatest. While recent data suggests a link between sleep, fatigue and safety in the EMS setting, the data are limited to cross-sectional designs and subject to recall and measurement bias. The proposed study will provide detailed prospective observational data to address questions pertaining to the relationships between shift duration, sleep/wake cycles and behavioral alertness.

The overarching goal of the study is to address the Foundation’s research priority of “Educational techniques and technologies aimed at improving patient care, critical decision making, safety, or other areas pertinent to transport medicine.” Dr. Patterson, along with several colleagues, intends to accomplish this goal by performing a multi-site study of air-medical EMS clinicians. The Foundation Board has approved Phase 1 of the study, which will involve a prospective observational study of sleep/wake cycles, shift work duration, intershift recovery, fatigue and behavioral alertness (i.e., psychomotor vigilance).

The analysis of Phase 1 data will focus on differences between 12-hour versus 24-hour shifts.

>> Read more

January 27, 2014

Hold times. hang-up rates both cross limits for riders at MTM's Madison call center

MTM schedules non-emergency ambulance requests for Medicaid and BadgerCare

Inadequate staffing at MTM Inc.'s call center in Madison appears to be the reason why more than 24% of people who called to schedule a medical ride in September hung up before getting through to a person. That's according to MTM's corrective action plan, obtained by the Public Investigator under a public information request.

MTM provides rides to Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus members who have no other way to get to their plan-covered services. Its contract with the State of Wisconsin caps the number of hang-ups at 5%. But in 2014, rates steadily climbed from 10.3% in March to 24.1% in September. Meanwhile, state officials sat by without any enforcement.

That's because MTM's contract says the 5% hang-up limit isn't enforced until the average hold time exceeds four minutes. The company came in under that every month through August.

However, according to newly released statistics, hold times exceeded the four-minute limit in MTM's contract in September. This triggered enforcement of both the hang-up limit and the hold time.

>> Read more

Source:  JS Online

January 22, 2014

Orange Cross Ambulance names new executive director

Brian Goelzer was selected as the new executive director at Orange Cross Ambulance in Sheboygan.


He recently wrote, “On October 1, 2014 Orange Cross Ambulance and Plymouth Ambulance services became one organization. It is my goal as the new leader to build a positive culture for all employees and their families’ while paving the way to exceed patients’ expectations and become leaders in EMS.” 

January 22, 2014

New AHA CPR course focuses specifically on BLS pre-hospital care

EMS professionals are a critical link in successful resuscitation from cardiac arrest. Approximately 400,000 Americans experience an out-of hospital cardiac arrest every year and only 10 percent survive. However there has never been a CPR course tailored to EMS professionals until now.

The American Heart Association released, for the first time, a new CPR course geared specifically toward BLS prehospital providers.

Basic Life Support for Prehospital Providers BLS PHP, released in October 2014, combines flexibility and customization to meet department and agency needs. The course is based on the 2010 American Heart Association guidelines for CPR and ECC and will be updated when the 2015 guidelines are released in November.

Why the new course?

The American Heart Association heard from EMS providers that the previous BLS Health Care Provider course was missing essential and realistic CPR training. The new BLS for Prehospital Providers course focuses on first responders and uses realistic EMS team approaches to respond to cardiac arrests in the field.

The new course format

The BLS for Prehospital Providers course consists of both online and classroom components, and the new format stresses the importance of transition of care from BLS to ALS EMS providers.


The online portion is narrated and presents the cognitive information. Students must complete all the objectives in order to complete the online portion of the course, and cannot skip ahead.

The online course focuses on three core scenarios:

  • Cardiac arrest in a car
  • A child drowning in a family pool
  • Cardiac arrest in a home bathroom

Students must pass the online exam to move on to the classroom portion.


Students then attend the in-classroom portion, led by an American Heart Association BLS Instructor. The classroom portion features instructor-led discussions, debriefing, coaching and support for hands-on skills. The classroom is blended with skills tests from the current health care provider course, along with discussions and a six-person team resuscitation.

The course focuses on a high-performance team approach, moving from two rescuers, to six suggested roles for responders, depending on personnel available. Teams with less than six may take on multiple roles.

Key roles include a compressor, a team member to handle compressions, a team member to handle the airway, another team member to defibrillate/AED, a team leader to delegate roles and make decisions and lastly a team member to administer an IV/IO/medication. The team approach is similar to an in-hospital resuscitation.

Course materials

All materials exist in an online format. EMS agencies can purchase multiple quantities of online keys to access materials for their personnel, and schedule the classroom sessions with their in-house American Heart Association BLS CPR Instructor.

The American Heart Association’s BLS for Prehospital Provider is fun and interactive, and incorporates EMTs, medics, firefighters and police with real life scenarios.

Source:  EMS1 Danielle Cortes DeVito

December 22, 2014

Critical Care Paramedic Course Offered

The Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program (CCEMTP) course will meet every Thursday and Friday, 8 am – 5pm, beginning April 2, 2015 through May 21, 2015.

A nationally recognized training program Critical Care Emergency Medical Transport Program (CCEMTP®) offers experienced paramedics and nurses a foundation that will prepare you to become a critical care transport specialist. This intense 100-plus hour course, presented at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, WI was developed by the Department of Emergency Health Services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); The curriculum has such an excellent reputation that it is accepted as the base course for many other state and national level certification training.

Course brochure containing further information and registration form can be obtained by contacting Rick Barton in the EMS Education Department at Gundersen Health System, or by phone at (608) 775-6315.

This continuing education activity is approved by UMBC, an organization accredited by the Continuing Education Coordinating Board for Emergency Medical Services (CECBEMS).

Course brochure containing further information and registration form can be obtained by contacting Rick Barton in the EMS Education Department at Gundersen Health System, or by phone at (608) 775-6315.

Click here for News and Information archive.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, February 03, 2015 • Sheraton Hotel, 706 John Nolen Drive, Madison, WI
Monday, February 16, 2015 6:00 PM • McFarland, WI
Thursday, March 05, 2015 10:00 AM • Divine Savior Healthcare (Hospital), Portage, WI
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 • Milwaukee, WI
Saturday, March 14, 2015 • Ministry St. Claire's Hospital, Weston, WI
Thursday, March 26, 2015 • Wisconsin Dells, WI
Thursday, April 02, 2015 • Gundersen Health System, La Crosse, 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
Saturday, May 30, 2015 • Ministry St. Claire's Hospital, Weston, 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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Recent Election Outcomes and EMS

(Posted 11/14/14 - Run Time 20 min:39 sec)


Brian Schimming
Partner, Midwest Strategy Group, Madison &
PAAW Legislative Lobbyist

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. 

To begin your free subscription, login into the Members' Section.  If it's your first time logging in, click here for easy step-by-step instructions.  Start your free subscription today - it only takes five minutes!

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.

Milwaukee County Fire
(click scanner below to activate feed)

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