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PAAW is dedicated to healthy, sustainable ambulance and emergency medical service delivery in Wisconsin

Patrick Ryan, PAAW President
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Current News and Information from PAAW

May 3, 2016

New director named to Wisconsin Office of Preparedness and Emergency Healthcare

The Division of Public Health announced that Bill Oemichen joined the division on May 2 to serve as Director of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Healthcare.  The announcement was made by Wisconsin EMS Section Director James Newlun.


Oemichen has a broad background in public health, health care and consumer protection. His experience includes leading Minnesota's food safety program where he oversaw major food safety investigations, and serving as a commissioned Officer of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Oemichen also served for five years as Administrator of the Wisconsin Trade and Consumer Protection Division at DATCP.


Oemichen also has extensive experience working with partners across sectors. During his 14 years as President & CEO of Cooperative Network, Oemichen worked closely with the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, HealthPartners HMO, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW), Group Health Cooperative of Eau Claire and Wisconsin Rx.

April 26, 2016

The Anti-Kickback Statute and Its Application to Private and Municipal EMS Providers

Co-authored by Thomas Shorter and Wendy Arends, attorneys with Godfrey & Kahn, Madison

As municipal departments become more involved in providing emergency medical services and inter-facility transports, discounts or provision of free services or items that result in charges below cost may trigger the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“Anti-Kickback Statute”).  Because of the complexity of the Anti-Kickback Statute, EMS providers—whether privately owned or municipal—are encouraged to carefully evaluate proposed transactions and arrangements for fraud and abuse compliance.

The Anti-Kickback Statute

The Anti-Kickback Statute was enacted in 1972 to protect patients and federal health care programs from fraud and abuse.   >> Click to read more http://paaw.us/news/3986097

April 18, 2016

Wisconsin ambulance Narcan rebate in the media

More than 800 Wisconsinites died of prescription narcotic painkiller and heroin overdoses in 2013, the most recent year for which there is data available, and drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury death in the United States.

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel teamed up to announce details of a new rebate program for Naloxone, the opiate antidote, that will be administered by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for qualifying organizations.  Wisconsin ambulance services are eligible to apply for the rebate. 
>> Click for more information.

April 12, 2016

EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast
Narcan rebate announced for Wisconsin ambulance services; Stemi drug therapy

>> Click to listen now!

This EMS Live in Wisconsin podcast was recorded on Tuesday, April 12.

The program began with an announcement regarding a $6.00 rebate negotiated between Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Naloxone (Narcan) manufacturer Amphastar.  Wisconsin ambulance services are eligible, but must file their rebate within 60 days of each quarter's end.  The Agreement expires February 1, 2017.  For more on the rebate program, go to >> http://paaw.us/Amphastar-narcan-rebate.

The second part of the program, starting at 6:00 minutes, included a discussion on stemi drug therapy with guests Dr. Michael Rosenberg, Medical Director-Cardiovascular Services, Holy Family Memorial Hospital, Manitowoc, Valders Ambulance Director Jay Steuer, and Baraboo Area Ambulance Chief Dana Secular.  Holy Family Memorial Hospital was recently named one of 50 top hospitals in the nation regarding its stemi EMS system.

Next EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast Tuesday, April 26

The next live webcast of EMS Live in Wisconsin is Tuesday, April 26, 2016, starting at 9:00 a.m. central time.

Our guest is attorney Wendy Arends with Godfrey & Kahn in Madison.  Wendy and attorney Thomas Shorter recently authored an article about ambulance anti kickback laws.  Their article will be discussed.  Your questions are invited during the live program.

Join co-hosts Chris Anderson, Joe Covelli, Patrick Ryan, Dan Williams and call-in guests and live listeners for 30-minutes of conversation about emergency medical services and the ambulance industry in Wisconsin the second and fourth Tuesday every month.  The dial-in number is 646-929-1081.

Don't miss a beat of Wisconsin EMS action - listen to EMS Live!

April 11, 2016

Milwaukee County hospitals ready for new policy of ambulance diversions

An emergency room clogged with patients is an unwelcome sight for everyone involved — patients, doctors and other caregivers alike.

Hospitals responded in the past by sending incoming ambulances to other hospitals, sometimes 10 to 15 critical minutes away.

But under a policy that took effect this month, hospitals in Milwaukee County are no longer allowed to divert ambulances when their emergency departments have a high volume of patients.

"We needed to do better for the patients," said M. Riccardo Colella, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management.
  >> Click to
April 2, 2016

Standby for Tones Blog
All in a day's work with La Crosse Paramedic Crystal Wallin

“501 please respond for a male subject who is turning yellowish-orange”

“Copy, 501 en route”

Two females seated in kitchen, one teary. 40s male seated on couch, Mt Dew at hand and completely unconcerned. Denies any symptoms, no medical history of any kind, no medications, and no desire to be seen in the ER.

Wife, brow furrowed; “maybe it’s because I haven’t seen him in daylight in so long”

Mother in law, bent forward with hands on hips, nose inches from patient’s face, inspecting his eyes; “what you maybe need is to go out on the deck and just have a cigarette in the sunlight”

Neighbor arrives, hugs wife tearfully, says to fire personnel; “last time I was catatonic I was going thru my friend’s drawers, almost pulled out my nose ring. That was after I had the grand mal and then went tonic clonic.”

Wife, helpfully; “he isn’t even a drug user!”  >> Click to read more...

"Standby for Tones" is a monthly blog written by Crystal Wallin, a La Crosse paramedic.  Her stories, written from real life events, bring to light the human experience in having an EMS career and work life.  >> Click to read Crystal's blog.

March 23, 2016

Attorney General Schimel reaches Narcan rebate agreement with manufacturer of lifesaving opiate antidote

PAAW influential in bringing discount to Wisconsin

Standing alongside members of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW), Attorney General Brad Schimel announced on March 23 details of a rebate program for the heroin and prescription opioid antidote naloxone, also known as Narcan.
“Heroin and prescription narcotic painkillers are contributing to more deaths in Wisconsin each year than car crashes,” said Attorney General Schimel. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice is doing, and will continue to do, everything it can to make access to naloxone as easy and cheap as possible.”
Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has agreed to provide a $6 rebate for each Amphastar naloxone syringe purchased by public entities in Wisconsin from now until February 1, 2017. Amphastar Pharmaceuticals has reached similar agreements with other states, including Ohio and New York.  PAAW brought these similar state agreements to Attorney General Schimel's attention, which led impart to Wisconsin crafting a rebate with the manufacturer.
“Naloxone, often branded as Narcan, can be administered as a nasal spray or injection and works within minutes to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose,” said Patrick Ryan, President of the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW). “Our public safety and EMS partners across Wisconsin are incredibly grateful for the Amphastar naloxone rebate agreement and believe it will increase access and use of this lifesaving drug, especially when mere minutes could be the difference between life and death once an emergency responder arrives on the scene of an overdose.”

State, county, and local government agencies, as well as law enforcement and other public and government entities that distribute naloxone are eligible for the Amphastar naloxone rebate.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is also exploring rebates with other manufacturers of naloxone.
Naloxone rebate instructions and all necessary forms are available below.
>> Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Contract
>> Naloxone Rebate - Press Release
>> Naloxone Rebate Instructions
>> Naloxone Account Form
>> Naloxone Purchase Summary

Announcement Media Coverage
>> Wisconsin State Journal, Madison
>> WBAY-TV, Green Bay
>> Fox 6-TV, Milwaukee
>> WKOW-TV, Madison
>> WISC-TV/Ch. 3000, Madison
>> WMTV-TV, Madison
>> Wheeler Report, Wisconsin Representative Nygren
March 18, 2016

Milwaukee Will Try Community Paramedics to Lower High Infant-Mortality Rate

In Milwaukee, more than 10 babies out of every 1,000 live births will die before their first birthday. That compares poorly to a national average of 6 deaths per 1,000.

"A major contributor to infant mortality is racial and ethnic health disparities,” says Jennifer Doering, PhD, RN, an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s College of Nursing. “Three African-American babies die for every one Caucasian baby who dies, and this hasn’t changed in 30 years despite efforts to improve care provided to women and infants by the healthcare system, public health and through health policy.  >> Click to read more.
March 17, 2016

EMS to the Point Audio Webcast
State EMS Office Issues Memos for First Responders and Mutual Aid, Online Ops Plan Submission Process Coming Soon

>> Click to listen to this audio webcast.

Last year was a busy year for EMS at the state capitol with three bills passing the Senate and Assembly and ultimately being signed into law by Governor Scott Walker.  New laws that quickly come to mind include the Tax Refund Interception Program (TRIP), which was spearheaded by PAAW, as well as laws allowing First Responders to operate as one member of a two-person legal ambulance crew, and cross border mutual aid and coverage agreements.

In July 2015 James Newlun took the helm as State of Wisconsin EMS Director. 

James oversees the state’s EMS Office, which is truly the nerve center for anything and everything EMS.  There are a lot of moving parts that include review of operation plans, event plan approvals and individual, provider and training center licensing requests and renewals.  Wisconsin is a large and robust statewide EMS delivery system that includes over 800 ambulance services and first responder groups and 22,000 licensed individuals.

Recently, PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli had the opportunity to discuss with James two memos his office released in January about First Responders and mutual aid and coverage agreements.  He’s also working to streamline the way ambulance operation plan changes are submitted to the state.  Once launched in the coming months, the new approach will avoid delays and just be more efficient.

>> Click to listen to this audio webcast.
March 8, 2016

EMS Live Podcast:  Wisconsin's mosquitoes do not carry Zika Virus, according to DHS

We switch gears and also discuss EMS Roaddocs

>> Click to listen to this podcast.

On Tuesday, March 8 EMS Live in Wisconsin discussed recent virus and bacteria outbreaks.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services  is currently investigating into an outbreak of bloodstream infections caused by bacteria called Elizabethkingia.  The Elizabethkingia infection has been detected in 44 patients located in southeastern and southern Wisconsin.  >> Click for full details.

What risks do EMS responders have with the Elizabethkingia bacteria?  What are the presenting signs and symptoms?  What safety precautions or recommendations should be taken?  What patients are at risk?

We also discussed the Zika Virus that is receiving national and international attention.  The good news here is mosquitoes found in Wisconsin are not the same ones identified as a carrier of the Zika Virus.

Our guest on EMS Live Podcast was Stephanie Smiley, Director of Bureau of Communicable Diseases for the State of Wisconsin's Division of Public Health.

In addition, 20 minutes into the program we were joined by Justin Foley, who is a member with EMS Roaddocs, a motorcycle riding club in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.  EMS Roaddocs is made up entirely of full and part time people who work in emergency services, either active or retired, that includes doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMT’s and Firefighters.

>> Click to listen to this podcast.

Upcoming Events

Current PAAW Priorities
Community Paramedicine / Mobile Integrated Healthcare Legislation

Next EMS Live Podcast

Tuesday, May 10

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


To be determined

Dial in number to listen to the live show or speak with the co-hosts and guests:  


Or listen on any internet connected device - even email in a question.

Treating CHF patients with better results (Tyler Christifulli, Training Coordinator, Lifestar EMS, West Bend, WI)

Most recent EMS Live in Wisconsin Podcast - Listen Now!

Emergency calls or patient contacts to PAAW members last year

Over 285,000

>> See who's a PAAW member.  Not a PAAW member? That's okay. Subscribe to receive free email updates and alerts from PAAW.  >> Click to get started.


Crystal Wallin

Feature writer and La Crosse Paramedic

Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones

Weekly IV Fluids and EMS Pharmaceutical Backorder Report

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

Through a special arrangement with EMS World magazine, PAAW members and their employees or volunteers 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!  >> Click to receive this benefit.

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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