Rural EMS Gets A Boost

Pictured left to right: Dallas Dietzel – Dickeyville EMS, Rep. Travis Tranel, Governor Tony Evers, George Klaetsch – WI Fire Chiefs Association, Peter Hienz – Sen. Marklein’s Office, and Jason Piddington – Hazel Green EMS.

Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill that adds two volunteer rural EMS providers to the state’s Emergency Medical Services Board.

“The goal of the bill is to make sure that smaller volunteer rural EMS departments have a seat at the table when policy changes are being considered which impact training, rules, and licensure requirements,” says Rep. Travis Tranel, co-author of the bill.

Currently, the EMS board consists of 11 voting members. It provides advice to the Department of Health Services on a wide array of EMS policies and topics. Membership is heavily weighted toward paramedics, doctors, and professors, but excludes the perspective of volunteer rural departments, explains Tranel’s office.

This new law will bring the total voting membership of the EMS Board up to 13 people. The two new board positions are meant for individuals serving in a rural volunteer department. The positions, appointed by the governor, must be licensed below the paramedic level (EMR, EMT, AEMT, or EMT-intermediate).

The Wisconsin EMS Association, Wisconsin Fire Chiefs Association, Wisconsin Towns Association, and many local Southwest Wisconsin Departments supported SB 526.