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Madison Fire Department
Committed to recruiting and retaining a qualified, diverse, inclusive and safe fire workforce.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

Image: Paramedic


Administration & EMS, under the supervision of Assistant Chief Laura Laurenzi, is responsible for overseeing the Emergency Medical Services (EMS), station and vehicle purchases and maintenance, and equipment specifications in the stations and on the rigs. Support Services is also responsible for the Vehicle and Equipment Committees, and the Uniform/Clothing Committee.
Image: Paramedic in Training

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)

All City of Madison Fire Department firefighters are trained at the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Technician - Basic level to support medical calls and to provide basic life support at incidents. In addition, there are currently more than 90 paramedics trained to provide Advanced Life Support to patients. All paramedics are trained as firefighters as well.

Each day, eight medics (or ambulances) are in service, each staffed by two paramedics. Medics are located at Station 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. On any given day and throughout the year, the medics are the busiest units in the City of Madison Fire Department. In 2008, rescues responded to more than 19,500 medical calls, or on average, 54 medical calls per day. This accounts for 80% of total emergency responses within the City annually.

In addition to responding to all emergency medical calls in the city, medics also respond to structure fires and other fire-related incidents to assist in performing fire ground operations such as fire suppression.

Firefighters go through rigorous training to become Firefighter Paramedics. More than nine months are spent in training before individuals are eligible for National Registry exams and State of Wisconsin Licensure. Once licensed, paramedics complete the American Heart Association's Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, Advance Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support courses and the American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatric Education for Prehospital Providers program. In addition, all paramedics work closely with the fire crews and the Training Division to assure the highest quality medical care is provided by all Department members.

The paramedics train at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Hospital in the emergency and operating rooms, reviewing procedures and protocol for which they are required to operate within. Division Chief Ché Stedman manages Medical Affairs for the Department.

The EMS system operates under a formal set of treatment protocols and plans overseen by the Department's Medical Director Dr. Michael Lohmeier.

The current MFD/Dane County ALS protocols are utilized by all municipal paramedic agencies in Dane County and are a cornerstone to state of the art patient care.

County-wide ALS Agreement

As part of the Dane County EMS System, the Madison Fire Department works closely with all EMS services. This consortium of ALS providers assures Dane County residents of a consistent level of care for the most serious type of calls based on the Priority Medical Dispatch System. Through a county-wide agreement, the closest paramedic unit is assigned to specific calls.

Under this agreement, ALS care is provided by the closest available ALS ambulance as determined by Priority Medical Dispatch without regard to jurisdictional boundaries. While it sometimes means that ambulances will travel greater distances, it also ensures that patients need not wait until a nearby ambulance becomes available.

The initial agreement was piloted in 2004. Its successful implementation let to formalized acceptance by all partners in May of 2008.

Image: EMS Training

Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS)

The Madison Fire Department’s Tactical Emergency Medical Services (TEMS) Team is a group of 10 Paramedics that have been trained specifically to accompany the Madison Police Department Special Weapons And Tactics(SWAT) Team when they are deployed to high-level risk calls such as high-risk warrants, standoffs, etc. Members of our team work hand in hand with the Police and this cooperative effort gives both Departments better knowledge of how the other operates, and what to expect at an incident. TEMS medics are able to provide immediate medical care to an injured person at the "last point of cover" which means we are trained to move further into a given incident yet still be protected by the SWAT team. We assist MPD in the monitoring of their personnel and are also able to provide medical knowledge at the scene to assist in decision-making processes, based on a patient's potential needs.

City of Madison Fire Department Medical Directors

Years Name
1971-1972 Dr. Claude Taylor
1972-2007 Dr. Marvin Birnbaum
2007-2008 Dr. Darren Bean
2008-2009 Dr. Joseph Cline (Interim)
2009-2012 Dr. Christian Zuver
2012-present Dr. Michael Lohmeier

Maintenance Unit

The maintenance unit, located at 1234 East Washington Avenue, is responsible for coordinating all equipment maintenance and pertinent record keeping. It is responsible for issuing all supplies to the City's fire stations, including protective clothing, and has the responsibility of maintaining all department vehicles, self-contained breathing apparatus, and other fire service equipment.