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Southwest Health EMS Advances Care for Critically Ill Patients

Director of Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management Brian Allen

As part of their effort to improve care for the most critically ill patients during transport between facilities, Southwest Health announces their Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team successfully upgraded from the Paramedic level to the Critical Care Paramedic level. This level of care is used when transporting the most seriously ill and injured patients between health care facilities.

The authorization for this level of care comes from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care (OPEHC) and follows a lengthy application and review process. As a result, Southwest Health’s Critical Care Paramedics are now permitted to provide the advanced monitoring and interventions many high-acuity, critically ill patients require during inter-facility transports.

“The members of our EMS team are always working to improve their skills and credentials to advance our capabilities to save lives and provide the best possible care,” says Director of Emergency Medical Services and Emergency Management Brian Allen. “Our EMS crews regularly provide inter-facility transports for five southwest Wisconsin hospitals, and this new level of care helps us deliver care to the most critical patients when they are most vulnerable.”

Currently the Southwest Health EMS team employs nine full-time and three part-time or PRN paramedics trained at the Critical Care Paramedic (CCP) level, and those numbers are expected to grow. To be licensed, each CCP must complete no fewer than 80 hours of instruction to complete their coursework, and that requirement is in addition to their extensive Paramedic training. Additionally, all three Southwest Health EMS ambulances have upgraded equipment and are fully outfitted to operate at the CCP level.

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