The Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services system is a countywide system covering 241 square miles and serving approximately 959,521 people. It includes 19 separate municipalities that each provide their own BLS services (private and/or fire service), while paramedic services are provided by 16 dedicated ALS and 14 ALS/BLS fire service ambulances and multiple paramedic first-response units. In 2010, the 339 municipal fire department paramedics evaluated 31,233 patients; of these 23,165 ( 6% increase from 2008) were transported by paramedics, with 1,398 of these requiring direct physician consultation. Thirty-seven active fire department rescue squads (BLS) and 56 engine companies function as first responder units in Milwaukee County.
Initial access to the system occurs via several enhanced 911 call-taking centers where dispatchers are able to see the phone number and address of the location from where the call is placed. For 911 calls from cellular phones, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department dispatchers route the call to the dispatch center of the municipality where the caller is located. The appropriate EMS units are dispatched in a tiered response according to protocol. An automatic defibrillator-equipped Basic Life Support unit (either a fire department rescue squad, fire truck, or private BLS ambulance) is sent as a first responder on every call and responds on average in 4 minutes.
When a paramedic unit (MED Unit) responds to a call, it is assigned to a radio frequency by a communicator at Milwaukee County EMS Communications Center (EMS COM). When necessary, a MED Unit will request a physician in EMS COM for assistance and additional orders. The physician medical directors of the Milwaukee County EMS system provide medical oversight for all Milwaukee County EMS system plan participants. This includes developing policy and procedure for all aspects of out-of-hospital care including appropriate dispatch, communications, medical treatment and destination. A Medical Director is available 24-hours-a-day to provide real-time consultation to any Milwaukee County EMS provider.
Emergency Medical Services Division
9501 W. Watertown Plank Rd.
Telephone: (414) 257-6661
Fax: (414) 257-7919