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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

November 20, 2015

Narcan nasal spray approved by FDA

Combating opioid overdose epidemic, the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., is a top FDA priority

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Narcan nasal spray, the first FDA-approved nasal spray version of naloxone hydrochloride.

Drug overdose deaths, driven largely by prescription drug overdoses, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. — surpassing motor vehicle crashes.

"Combating the opioid abuse epidemic is a top priority for the FDA," said Stephen Ostroff, M.D., acting commissioner, Food and Drug Administration. "We cannot stand by while Americans are dying. While naloxone will not solve the underlying problems of the opioid epidemic, we are speeding to review new formulations that will ultimately save lives that might otherwise be lost to drug addiction and overdose."

>> Click to read more.

Source:  EMS1November 19, 2015

2016 CMS Ambulance Inflation Factor negative .4%

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has officially announced that the inflation factor for payments under the Medicare ambulance fee schedule for 2016 will be negative .4% (-0.4%). As part of the Affordable Care Act, a productivity adjustment has been part of the calculation for the last several years which for 2016 has resulted in a negative update.

The announcement basically means ambulance services, both ground and air medical, will likely see their Medicare payments reduced.

Source:  American Ambulance Association

November 17, 2015

Have you taken the EMS data survey yet?

The National Association of EMTs (NAEMT) is currently conducting a survey that will provide a picture of the current state of EMS data, and will be used as a starting point for drafting a national EMS data strategy.

>> Click to take a few minutes to complete the survey.
November 13, 2015

Governor's signature allows First Responders to operate as legal Ambulance crew member

Governor Scott Walker made it official on November 11, signing into law 2015 Wisconsin Act 113 / Senate Bill 143, which allows a First Responder to operate at their level of license as one member of a two-person legal ambulance crew. 

The process began when Assembly Rep. Jeff Mursau from Crivitz, author of the legislation, was contacted by area emergency departments.  Many fire and ambulance departments, especially in the rural areas, see utilization of first responders as the lifeline they need to get the ambulance out the door to a 911 medical call.  However, there is mixed review as others in the profession see this measure as a "band-aid" fix to a larger problem and dwindling volunteers.

As drafted in the Assembly and Senate bill writing process, Act 113 signed by Gov. Walker contains a population component.  Population less than 10,000 can automatically staff a first responder as a legal crew member, and doesn't require a staffing plan waiver. More than 20,000 population can't use first responders as a legal crew staffing option. Population is defined by the single largest municipality in the ambulance service's coverage area.

Population 10,000 or more but not more than 20,000 may apply to the Department of Health for a staffing plan waiver; however, certain conditions must be demonstrated to include all of the following:

  • The ambulance service provider has undertaken efforts to recruit and train emergency medical technicians capable of being licensed under this section.
  • Despite efforts under subd. 2. a., licensed emergency medical technicians are not available in sufficient numbers for staffing for the ambulance services provider.
  • Without a waiver under subd. 1., the municipality that the ambulance service provider serves is unable to meet staffing requirements for ambulances that require 2 emergency medical technicians on every service call.
  • The department shall provide a written staffing waiver to any ambulance service provider it approves under subd. 2.
  • A waiver under subd. 1. is valid for 48 months after the date of issuance, and an ambulance service provider may apply to renew the waiver.
  • An ambulance service provider with a waiver under subd. 1. shall attempt to staff an ambulance with 2 licensed emergency medical technicians whenever possible.

>> Click to listen to an audio interview with Rep. Jeff Mursau regarding First Responder legislation, the population component, and what led to drafting the legislation.

November 11, 2015

Newest EMS Live in Wisconsin Webcast now posted

>> Click to listen now.

Topics Discussed:

At 5 minutes First Responder Legislation author Representative Jeff Mursau

At 15 minutes HealthString's innovative approach to patient transport surveys - Buck McAlpin and George Willock

At 30 minutes Savvik Buying Group contract updates with Executive Director Mickey Schulte

At 45 minutes EMS stretcher cot quilt blanket to beat cold, harsh Wisconsin winters - Alpha Medical Equipment's CEO Jeff Grasto


The live program was recorded with on-demand playback available at http://tobtr.com/8014879.

Don't miss a beat of Wisconsin EMS action - listen to EMS Live!
November 3, 2015

Governor Walker, other state leaders extend their appreciation to Stars of Life during Capitol visit

The Wisconsin Stars of Life honorees, recently inducted at two ceremonies in Green Bay this past September, found themselves on Tuesday, October 27, standing in the Office of Governor Scott Walker at the State Capitol for a meet and greet opportunity and photo with the Governor.

The daylong event also included a personalized welcome message by Department of Health Services (DHS) Administrator Karen McKeown, meetings with legislators, and topped off later that afternoon with the full Assembly adopting a resolution acknowledging the Stars, to include a standing ovation.  To read the resolution, click here.

The Stars of Life program is to honor and recognize the contribution of those in EMS and the ambulance profession.  Each Star honoree is locally nominated by their respective ambulance service, fire department, first responder group, or other organization.  Each nominee is presented with Wisconsin Stars of Life honors.  Deonne Eske with Ashippun Fire Department will advance from the group to represent Wisconsin at the National Stars of Life in Washington, D.C. in April 2016.

Wisconsin Stars of Life has been produced by the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin since 2006.  The next Stars event and nomination period is sometime in 2017.

>> Click to download the 2015 Wisconsin Stars of Life program booklet, which includes information on each honoree.

>> Click for the Wisconsin Stars of Life 2015 web page.

November 3, 2015

Legislators Recognized for their support of EMS

At a Stars of Life State Capitol event on October 27, the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin (PAAW) recognized Senator Sheila Harsdorf and Representative Paul Tittl for their their support of Wisconsin emergency medical services and the ambulance industry.  Harsdorf and Tittl were both presented with the President's Award by PAAW President Patrick Ryan.  This was the first time the award was presented by the Association.

According to PAAW President Ryan, "Both Senator Harsdorf and Representative Tittl were instrumental in the Association's efforts with the TRIP bill that Governor Walker signed into law this past August, and very supportive of our Stars of Life program". 

TRIP, which stands for Tax Recovery Interception Program, allows all Wisconsin ambulance services to use the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's TRIP recovery process to attempt to collect on ambulance 911 patient transportation bills that go unpaid.

According to PAAW Executive Director Joe Covelli, "An ambulance service has a duty to act to render care and provide services, often leaving the patient’s ability to pay as a later thought.  It is vitally important that your local community ambulance service remain financially strong and healthy, and the operation sustainable".

Pictured: Senator Sheila Harsdorf, PAAW President Patrick Ryan, and Representative Paul Tittl.

November 3, 2015

Wisconsin EMS Office announces provider license renewal period now open through June 30, 2016

November 1 marked the official beginning of the state's License/Certification renewal process, which continues to June 30, 2016.

>> Click to review the Wisconsin EMS Office's Memo 1505 recently emailed to all providers about the 2016-2018 License/Certification renewal process.

All continuing education is a personal responsibility.

For the 2016-2018 License/Certification renewal process, your initial or continuing education requirements need to be completed between July 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016. Flexible continuing education may be obtained through any format, but needs to meet the requirements set forth in Administrative Code DHS 110.07.

>> Click for the renewal education refresher requirements.

November 3, 2015

Air Medical Transport Company Saves 40 Hours Per Month by Implementing Aladtec

Life Link III® (MN) saves significant time and improves operational efficiency
by moving personnel scheduling to the cloud.

>> Click to watch the video Customer Report.

Critical thinking and efficiency are key with all air medical service organizations and they’re continually seeking ways to improve methods and procedures.  With the increasing use of “the cloud” for administrative processes, air transport companies are utilizing online software to increase administrative efficiencies and employee communication.
Life Link III is a leading medical air transport company in Minnesota. Effectively scheduling 70 medical personnel at six bases on a Google calendar became a daily burden.  They sought a better method and found Aladtec - an online employee scheduling and workforce management system.
“What was bad about the Google calendar was the inability to access it unless I was at a desktop computer.  It was highly inefficient, created a lot of work and there was absolutely zero automation to it.  Every trade and time-off request had to be entered manually. Having to allot that sort of time for simply scheduling was detrimental to completing our mission,” explains Nate Lebeck, Operations Manager/Critical Care Flight Paramedic, Life Link III, Minneapolis, Minnesota. “By switching to Aladtec I save at least 1 to 2 hours a day.  Add that up, and it frees as many as 10 hours a week for me to concentrate on more important tasks.”
Since Aladtec is a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) product, it’s available 24/7 from any computer, smartphone or other mobile device via the Internet. The Life Link clinicians appreciate the option of using the mobile web application. “I use the mobile app because obviously I don't have to be at a desktop. Whether you're at work or at home, it's right there in the palm of your hand,” shares Phil Nicolas, Flight Paramedic, Life Link III.
With the implementation of Aladtec, Lebeck says everything has become automated. When a clinician is hired, their shift rotations are permanently placed in the system. The responsibility to make trades and request time off is up to the employee to make within the Aladtec system.  Then, their supervisor can approve it, or not approve it, with just the touch of a button. Life Link III also uses Aladtec to schedule outreach events and ride along requests.
“I really do like Aladtec. I don't say that about a lot of products but this system has really made my job much more efficient.  I would absolutely recommend Aladtec to other organizations; it’s a very good fit for our industry,” Lebeck concludes.
About Life Link III®:
Life Link III operates six helicopter bases serving patients in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. The company’s helicopter and airplane services provide on-scene emergency response and inter-facility transport for patients requiring critical care. Life Link III is a non-profit consortium and is the air medical transport program for 44 hospitals across 9 health systems. For more information, visit www.lifelinkiii.com.
About Aladtec:
They proudly provide online employee scheduling and workforce management software to over 1,500 organizations, primarily within the Public Safety Sector. These customers count on Aladtec every day to help them save time and improve efficiency.  For information about their affordable industry specific options, or to try a free trial, please visit www.aladtec.com.

Upcoming Events

Current PAAW Priorities
Community Paramedicine / Mobile Integrated Healthcare (legislation being introduced winter 2016)
Recognition of EMS Personnel Licensure Interstate CompAct (REPLICA)
Collaboration with Dept of Health Services/EMS Office (ongoing)

Next EMS Live Webcast

Tuesday, December 8

starting at 9:00 a.m. central time


Community Paramedicine Roundtable Conversation with Aurora Healthcare, West Allis FD, Milwaukee FD, Greenfield FD and North Shore Fire Rescue

Preview of Working Together Conference

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)
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.

Fire Service Identifies with use of Community Paramedicine/MIH

Posted 11-6-2015
Run Time 31 min and 17 sec


Robert Whitaker
Fire Chief
North Shore Fire Rescue
Brown Deer, WI

>> 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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