$8 million investment supports Wisconsin first responders

The governor was joined by Marinette County first responders to announce the $8 million investment
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:11 PM CDT
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PESHTIGO, Wis. (WBAY) - Marinette County first responders gathered outside the Peshtigo Municipal Building Tuesday as Governor Tony Evers announced an $8 million investment to support emergency medical services across the state.

“We do believe that it is important that the same type of care that we see all across the state is as uniform as possible and available as possible,” Evers told attendees. “An important day for Peshtigo but an equally important day for the state of Wisconsin.”

Ten EMS providers in Marinette County are eligible for nearly $244,000 in supplemental funding.

That’s on top of annual grants through the state’s Funding Assistance Program.

He previously mentioned investing in EMS providers during his 2022 State of the State address—part of a $20 million dollar initiative with a focus on rural communities.

The ambulance supervisor for Aurora Medical Center-Bay Area says the money will be put to good use.

“One of the new things our paramedics are looking towards doing is adding field ultrasound as well as the potential of administering blood products in the field of trauma for our patients,” Mike Orlando said.

The new technology will help first responders coordinate with hospital staff to create a treatment plan before patients even arrive.

“We’ve made leaps and bounds over the 1980′s style medicine of ‘put them in an ambulance and drive fast’... and we’re proud of that,” Orlando continued. “All the training and the equipment isn’t for us. It’s to benefit them when they have an emergency. So, we’ll bring that E.R.-level treatment to their home. We’ll stabilize the best we can and then we’ll transport. It’s really all about the patient.”

The Peshtigo Fire Department is also ready to expand.

The money allows them to start offering emergency medical services through a partnership with Bay Area Paramedics and Emergency Rescue Squad Incorporated.

“It’s something that will really help our residents in the city by letting us serve them a little bit better. Without that grant we would not be able to provide that extra service,” Fire Chief Chuck Gardon said.

Plus, the department is able to expand two of its buildings.

Gardon says the new EMS offerings are attractive to potential employees.

“I’ve had inquiries from even some members from other departments that would like to do some EMS services with us over here. They become a part of our department when they do that.”

The Peshtigo area also received more than $3 million to expand telehealth services... just another step toward making sure health care is accessible for everyone.

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