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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

July 30, 2015

Epi prefilled syringe 1:10,000 in short supply

Manufacturers restricting quantities being released through September

According to Bound Tree Medical's Stacey Barksdale Price, Manager of EMS Pharmaceuticals and IV Therapy, "The epinephrine 1:10,000 shortage is of highest concern as both Hospira and IMS are restricting quantities that they are releasing. They are releasing product intermittently, but it is not at the levels that meet customer demand. Both companies project this allocation status to remain in effect on this and other prefilled syringes through September."

>> Click to review the latest weekly EMS pharmaceutical and IV backorder report.

July 24, 2015

Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin September 23 to 25

Conference registration is now open at www.psow.org

The 28th annual Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin Conference is September 23 to 25 at the Tundra Lodge and Convention Center in Green Bay.

The original intent was to provide education for the new Paramedic systems throughout Wisconsin, specifically for Service Directors, Medical Directors and Training Centers.  Organizers Dan Williams and Cal Lintz have held true to that mission.  However, the PSOW Conference format is not limited to paramedic providers, but all license levels.   PSOW is recognized as one of the top conferences for EMS and ambulance administrative personnel.

Some of the presentation topics include:

  • Fraud & Medicare Compliance (Thomas Shorter, Attorney, Godfrey & Kahn, Madison)
  • Community Paramedicine (Buck McAlpin, Vice President of Strategic Affairs, North Memorial Medical Center, Robbinsdale, MN, and Senior Lobbyist, Minnesota Ambulance Association)
  • Controlled Substances (Kathy Frederico, Wisconsin Drug Diversion Supervisor, Drug Enforcement Agency, Milwaukee)
  • Mission Life Line (Mic Gunderson)
  • Medical Directors Report (Dr. Suzanne Martens, Wisconsin EMS/Trauma Medical Director)
>> Click to be redirected to the PSOW website.

>> Click for the conference agenda.

July 24, 2015

Community paramedicine stakeholders hold forum

By Joe Covelli, PAAW Executive Director

On July 20, the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health sponsored a Community Paramedicine Stakeholders Forum.  The Eau Claire event was attended by over 130 participants, to include EMS agencies, medical directors, technical colleges, hospitals, home health agencies, and industry associations.

The program began with a discussion panel on Wisconsin community paramedicine activities.  One of the panelists, Jennifer Ullsvik with the Wisconsin Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care, mentioned two community paramedic programs have been approved in the state, to include the cities of Milwaukee and Madison, and a handful of other requests are pending approval by the EMS Section to commence community paramedicine operations.  We also know this past year there have been about five community paramedic trial programs, mostly in the Milwaukee area, to identify frequent 911 users.  Trials at West Allis and North Shore Fire Departments have set up in-home programs with high user individuals to be proactive and are by all accounts successfully addressing their care needs.

Mrs. Ullsvik attributed some of the delay in plan approvals in two areas.  One, “Is community paramedicine in the current definitions of what an EMT can do?” and, two, “Does community paramedicine fall into the arena of home health?”.  On the latter point, her office has asked for a legal opinion by the Department's attorney.   She continued by stating her office is “on-board with this (referencing community paramedicine) and that proposed legislation will help”.

PAAW President Patrick Ryan, also a panelist, spoke to the work currently being done to draft legislation to include “Community Paramedic” and “Community EMT”.  He hopes to have legislation introduced in the fall session.

Rounding out the panel included Terry Gonderzik with the Chippewa Valley Technical College and Jerry Biggart representing the Wisconsin EMS Advisory Board.  Mr. Gonderzik indicated the Wisconsin Technical College System is looking to offer community paramedicine instruction as a “single” education entity, offering the same course and content instruction statewide.  Taking this approach is currently before the Technical College board of directors for approval as a system.  Mr. Biggart stated the EMS Advisory Board established a community paramedicine sub committee to work through the details and bring a recommendation to the full EMS Advisory Board, which will be presented to the Department of Health Services.

The afternoon program was spotlighted by three representatives leading the effort in Minnesota, to include:  Dr. Michael Wilcox and Buck McAlpin, both from North Memorial Medical Center, and Kai Hjermstad with Hennepin Technical College, Minneapolis. The predominate message was community paramedicine is a “gap filling” initiative that provides access to health care.

If you would like to join the community paramedicine conversation, there are several opportunities highlighted below.

1. Sign up for the Rural Health CP list serve.  The link is https://lists.wisc.edu/read/all_forums/subscribe?name=cp

2. PAAW created a webpage dedicated to serve as a central point of communication and information of historical significance for those interested in CP.  The link is http://paaw.us/cp.

3.  The Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin conference in Green Bay on Thursday, September 24 will include Minnesota's Buck McAlpin as a presenter speaking on community paramedicine.  The conference website is http://psow.org/.

4. PAAW President Patrick Ryan hosts a regular community paramedicine conference call.  Refer to item 2 above to find out when the next call is scheduled and the dial in number.  The group is currently working on community paramedicine legislation.

July 13, 2015

Community paramedics catching on in Madison area

On Sunday, July 12, the Wisconsin State Journal newspaper wrote a feature article on community paramedics and the new and emerging programs being developed in the Madison area.  Several health care leaders and ambulance providers were quoted.

According to PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli,"The article demonstrates the basis for community paramedicine, the great collaboration amongst health care providers to deliver care using this new and emerging model, gap filling to meet patient and community needs, and the need for state legislation to formally recognize community pararmedicine for funding purposes".  Click the below link to read or share the article.

>> Community paramedics catching on in the Madison area

For those interested to join the CP conversation or get the latest information, the next Community Paramedicine conference call is Friday, July 17 starting at 9:00 a.m. central time.  Join the conference call by either dialing in 646-929-1081 or listen on any internet connected device at this link >> click here.

Conference calls are recorded, so if you need to get caught up and listen to a past one, click here for the dedicated community paramedicine webpage established for historical purposes.

July 9, 2015 (updated July 16, 2015)

Wisconsin EMS Live webcast discusses TRIP

The July 14 webcast of Wisconsin EMS Live was dedicated to discussing TRIP (Tax Refund Intercept Program) and Stars of Life 2015. 

>> Click to listen to this webcast.

Since 2007, a legislative emphasis for the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin has been TRIP, which stands for Tax Refund Intercept Program. Since an ambulance service can't do a credit check when being dispatched to a person's 911 call, some patients unfortunately don't pay their ambulance bill even after the insurance company has sent the check directly to them for that purpose.  This leaves the ambulance service in a bad situation unable to collect on services rendered, meet its own financial obligations, and reinvest those funds in its operation, equipment and staff.  Some of Wisconsin's largest ambulance services are writing off each year $500,000 to one-million dollars in noncollectable debt.

TRIP recently passed the Wisconsin legislature and is simply awaiting Governor Scott Walker's signature.  Gold Cross Ambulance - Fox Valley Executive Director Mark Fredrickson spoke with Governor Walker at his residence on Sunday, July 5 to confirm the Governor's support of TRIP (picture insert).

In the meantime, we need to prepare ambulance service management not familiar with TRIP, explain how it works, and is used as another option to collections when other attempts have failed.  The Wisconsin Department of Revenue administers TRIP, which municipal owned ambulance services have had access to for years.  With Governor Walker's signature, it opens the option of TRIP to all Wisconsin ambulance services under contract with a municipality to provide 911 service.  TRIP cannot be used for inter-facility transfers or patients with Medicare or Medicaid insurance coverage.

Wisconsin EMS Live program guests who discussed TRIP and answered questions included:  from The Stark Collection Agency in Madison, Pauline Kussart, and from Valders Ambulance, Director Jay Steuer.  According to both Pauline and Jay, "11% of an ambulance service billings go through the TRIP process for payment".

The second half of the 60 minute program was dedicated to discussing Wisconsin Stars of Life 2015 with committee members Larry Knuth, a 2009 Star recipient himself, and Linda Wiedmann.  The event is to recognize Wisconsin's best EMTs and Paramedics as nominated by their respective departments.  An update was also offered by Dan Williams on the conference agenda for Paramedics Systems of Wisconsin this coming September 23 to 25.

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

>> Click to listen to this webcast.

July 9, 2015

Certified Ambulance Coder and Compliance Officer Seminars

We are pleased to share the Minnesota Ambulance Association is offering Certified Ambulance Coder and Certified Ambulance Compliance Officer training.  These sessions will be held the week of August 24, 2015 at the Maple Grove Government Center, Maple Grove, Minnesota.  Space is limited, so please register early.

For more information, click here.

July 8, 2015

Newest "Standby for Tones" blog posts

Paramedic and nationally featured writer, Crystal Wallin, just added two new blog posts to "Standby for Tones" titled "scene safety" and "just doing my job".

>> Click to read the latest "Standby for Tones" blog posts.

July 7, 2015

Milwaukee firefighter grazed by bullet when attending to patient

A Milwaukee firefighter was shot overnight Sunday while he and other firefighters tended to a patient who was having trouble breathing.

The 46-year-old firefighter, whose name was not released, suffered a graze wound to the right side of his head and has since been treated and released from the hospital, according to a fire department news release issued Monday.

The firefighters were called just after midnight to the area of N. 40th St. and W. Lisbon Ave. to assist a patient.

They assessed and treated the patient and were in the process of transferring the patient to Curtis Ambulance when shots were fired from a nearby alley in the direction of the first responders, according to the news release. Several rounds also hit the ambulance.

But Police Chief Edward Flynn said it does not appear that the firefighter had been targeted.

Flynn said detectives had recovered shell casings near the scene that appear relevant to the investigation.

A similar incident happened this past May in Milwaukee when a Paratech ambulance was struck by a bullet inches from the driver when responding to a 911 call.  This was the first incident of its kind in 43 years of business at Paratech Ambulance.  >> Click for video story.

Source:  WISN-TV Milwaukee

Wisconsin Stars of Life 2015 nomination period now open through August 1

Each person nominated is presented with Wisconsin Stars of Life honors!

Take this opportunity to reward and celebrate an employee, volunteer, or community citizen who exemplifies the everyday spirit and commitment of a Star of Life.

You do not need to be a member of PAAW to submit a nomination application.  All nominations are welcome.

One person from the group of 2015 honorees will be selected and advance to represent Wisconsin.  This individual will be recognized at the National Stars of Life program in Washington, D.C., April 11 to 13, 2016.  PAAW will provide a $750 travel voucher, and the American Ambulance Association Foundation will provide a grant for hotel and event registration fees for the Star, Star's guest, and host (employer).

The Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin's Stars of Life celebration is the most rewarding and exciting Wisconsin event in our field and is modeled after the American Ambulance Association's national Stars program.

The 2015 event will be the ninth time PAAW has proudly presented the Wisconsin Stars of Life program.  This special event recognizes and honors the dedication of ambulance service professionals - people that stand out in every area of our field.  You choose your "Star." These are the people who will be recognized in a series of celebratory events.

The schedule of events includes a welcome reception at Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field Atrium and dinner and awards program during the Paramedic Systems of Wisconsin (PSOW) conference.  In addition, Stars gather at the State Capitol for a one-day event in Madison in October/November 2015 to be recognized before the senate and assembly, and to meet their local elected leaders for one-on-one meetings.

To nominate someone deserving of this high honor, just download the registration packet.  Each person nominated is presented Wisconsin Stars of Life honors.  The deadline to submit is August 1, 2015.

>> Click for Stars of Life 2015 webpage.

>> Click for schedule of events.

>> Click for Stars of Life 2015 nomination application.

Upcoming Events

Current PAAW Priorities

Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP)
Community Paramedicine / Mobile Integrated Healthcare
Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA)
Stars of Life 2015 Awards and Recognition Event
Collaboration with Dept of Health Services/EMS Office

WI Medicaid Patient Transportation Rates

Wisconsin Stars of Life 2015 nomination period now open

Each person nominated is presented with Wisconsin Stars of Life honors!

Take this opportunity to reward and celebrate an employee, volunteer, or community citizen who exemplifies the everyday spirit and commitment of a Star of Life.  It is up to you!

You do not need to be a member of PAAW to submit a nomination application.  All nominations are welcome.  Deadline:  August 1, 2015.

>> Click for Stars of Life 2015 webpage.

>> Click for schedule of events.

>> Click for Stars of Life 2015 nomination application.

Next Live Show

Tuesday, August 11

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


Meet Dr. Suzanne Martens, new state EMS/Trauma Medical Director

Phone lines will be open to take your questions and talk about items important to EMS in Wisconsin.  There's plenty to talk about!

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.

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.  >> C lick to get started.

How to Get There:  Defining Community Paramedicine for Today and Tomorrow

Posted 6/1/15
Run Time 31 min:41 sec


Gary Wingrove
Director, Strategic Affairs
Gold Cross Ambulance / Mayo Clinic Medical Transport, Rochester, MN

>> Click for the newest audio webcast or review the library of previous ones.

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)

Winamp Aplha Display

Crystal Wallin

Wisconsin Critical Care Paramedic and Nationally Featured Writer

Recent blog posts by Crystal: Standby for Tones

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