Frequently Asked Questions

What is the structure of the Milwaukee County EMS system?

Twelve (12) fire departments serve nineteen (19) communities. Nine of the fire departments have EMT/Paramedic units located within their departments.  Two (2) have EMT/Basic units and one (1) has an EMT/Intermediate technician unit.  All communities receive paramedic level services from either within their fire department or from a neighboring department. 

Milwaukee County EMS provides administrative, education, health information management (medical records), medical communications, quality assurance and medical control to all twelve municipal fire departments.  Milwaukee County EMS is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

When did the Milwaukee County EMS system begin?

The Milwaukee County EMS system began with a grant by the federal government following the 1973 Emergency medical Services act.  The grant was awarded to the Medical College of Wisconsin who established the foundation of the EMS system and began educating paramedics from the city of West Allis (Med 1). Once the grant expired, the County of Milwaukee took over funding of the EMS system.

How is the Milwaukee County Emergency Medical System (MC EMS) funded?

Milwaukee County Emergency Medical System is tax levy funded.  In the 2012 Milwaukee County adopted budget $4.8 million tax levy funds earmarked for infrastructure support of the emergency medical system.

What governing bodies oversee the EMS system?

The MC EMS division is overseen by the Milwaukee County EMS Council, the Milwaukee County Board and the County Executive’s Office.

What is an EMT?

EMT stands for emergency medical technician

Are there different levels of EMS providers?

In the state of Wisconsin there are five (5) levels licensed EMS providers and two levels of credentialed EMS provides.  The five licensed levels are; Medical First Responder (MFR), EMT/Basic (EMT/B), EMT-Intermediate Technician (EMT-IT), EMT/Intermediate 99 (EMT-I99) and EMT/Paramedic (EMT/P).  The two levels of credentialed EMS providers are Critical Care EMT/P (CC EMT/P), and Tactical EMS EMT/Paramedic (TEMS EMT/P).

Who teaches EMT classes?

EMT classes are taught at a number of schools in Wisconsin.  Most of the classes are taught at Wisconsin Technical College System schools.  Other schools which teach the EMS related classes include schools that are either connected with local governments, hospitals and the University of Wisconsin system.  Interested students are referred to the state EMS web site for a list of schools that are certified by the state of Wisconsin EMS office to offer EMS classes.

What EMS classes does Milwaukee County EMS teach?

Our EMS Education Center teaches American Heart Association CPR, AED, ACLS and PALS classes.  In addition we teach the EMT/Paramedic level yearly and upon request from EMS agencies teach the EMT/Intermediate Technician and EMT/Intermediate level classes.

When are your next EMT/Paramedic classes?

MC EMS Education Center is bound my Milwaukee County ordinance chapter 97 which directs the school on the priority of which EMS agencies are granted roster spots in EMS classes.  Chapter 97 states that fire departments who are located within the boundaries of the county are given first priority, followed by other EMS agencies within the county, fire departments outside of Milwaukee County, then EMS agencies outside Milwaukee County.  The EMT/Paramedic class generally runs one academic year, starting in September and concluding in April. 

Does the EMS Provider leave a copy of their patient care record at the receiving hospital?

Yes.  If the record is in paper form, the ‘hospital copy’ of the multi-copy record is left.  If the record is in electronic form, it will be either faxed to the Emergency Department or posted on a dashboard website accessible by hospital personnel.

Is the medical information documented in the EMS patient care record kept confidential?

Yes, both State and Federal Laws protect the detailed medical information of medical history, patient condition and treatment contained within the EMS patient care record.  However, the following dispatch information may be made available to any requester if a balancing test by the Provider determines that public policy interest favoring non-disclosure does not outweigh the strong presumption of disclosure:

  • Name of Ambulance Service Provider
  • EMTs involved on the call
  • Date of the call
  • Dispatch and Response times of the ambulance
  • Reason for the dispatch
  • Location to which ambulance was dispatched
  • Destination, if any, to which the patient was transported by ambulance
  • Name, age and gender of patient
Who do I contact if I want a copy of my patient care record or have a question with my bill for services?

Call or write the municipal Fire Department Administration in the city where the EMS call originated.

Emergency Medical Services Division

9501 W. Watertown Plank Rd.

Telephone:  (414) 257-6661 

 Fax: (414) 257-7919

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