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A bill drafted by State Rep. Amy Loudenbeck that creates an approval process for community paramedics, community emergency medical technicians, and community emergency medical services providers will have a hearing in front of the Assembly Health Committee on Wednesday, March 22. The committee is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol. While many services throughout Wisconsin have already been operating community paramedic programs, the new legislation would create a mechanism for all services to establish similar programs.
AB 151 establishes criteria for an approval as a community paramedic or community emergency medical technician, including completion of a training program approved by DHS. Under the proposed bill, a community paramedic or community emergency medical technician may perform services 1) for which he or she is trained under the training program; 2) that do not duplicate services already being provided to a patient; and 3) that are either approved by the hospital, clinic, or physician for which he or she is an employee or contractor or that are incorporated in the patient care protocol submitted by the community emergency
medical services provider.The bill also establishes criteria for ambulance service providers and nontransporting EMT providers to be approved as community emergency medical services providers including establishing, submitting to DHS, and maintaining patient care protocols for use by community paramedics or community emergency medical technicians and providing a list of each community paramedic or community emergency medical technician of the community emergency medical services provider.The Wisconsin EMS Association will continue to follow the bill as it continues through the political process. This public hearing is one of the first steps to being passed and becoming law. A full copy of the bill is available here.
“Volunteer departments are active in many rural areas of the state, including western Racine County. About 80 percent of the state is covered by volunteer agencies,” said Marc Cohen, executive director of the Wisconsin EMS Association, adding, “There isn’t a quick fix.” The quotes are included in an article from the Racine Journal Times regarding the recent introduction of legislation designed to help address a shortage of volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians.
Six bills were introduced on February 8 and 9, and referred to state Senate committees. Cohen said he appreciates legislators’ work toward addressing the issue, even if the problem isn’t instantly solved. “I think the legislators are well-intentioned and really want to find a solution,” Cohen said, adding, “I think the solutions are complicated.”
The full article from the Racine Journal Times can be seen here. As Your Voice for EMS, the Wisconsin EMS Association is often asked by local, state and national media outlets to provide quotes and commentary to be included in news stories they are running.
The WEMSA bi-monthly magazine, EMS Professionals, will include a feature story detailing all of the legislation that the recent Legislative Council Study Committee helped to create. Watch for the feature in the March-April edition of EMS Professionals magazine.
All current Wisconsin EMS Association members have been notified by email that electronic ballots and voting are now open for the the 2017 WEMSA Board of Directors election. Current members are eligible to vote by logging into their member account to cast an anonymous ballot. Login information was included in the email notice. Lost or forgotten passwords may be retrieved here.
After logging in, you will see your name appear in the top right hand area of the website directly below the search bar. You may then select Surveys & Voting from the top drop down My Account menu or simply click the “Surveys & Voting” button on the right hand side of the Manage Your Account page. Once on the voting page, click on the “Take Survey” button next to “Board of Directors Election 2017” and follow the instructions.
All WEMSA members wishing to vote must do so by no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, February 24, 2017. Once ballots have been cast, members are not be able to change or re-submit the electronic election ballot. Although log-in is required to verify membership and limit voting to one ballot, all votes are blinded and anonymous.
If any current WEMSA member encounters a problem logging in or voting in the election, please contact the EMS Association for assistance.