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 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10. On any given day and throughout the year, the medics are the busiest units in the City of Madison Fire Department. In 2014, our Medic Units responded to more than 18,300 medical calls, or on average, 50 medical calls per day. This accounts for 71.5% 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.
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.
Emergency Medical Services's News
Annual EMS Banquet Honors First Responders And Cardiac Arrest Survivors Posted 02/19/2018Members of the Madison Fire Department and the patients they helped save from sudden cardiac arrest were honored at the 2018 EMS Survivor Banquet sponsored by the Dane County EMS Association, UW Health, and Dane County EMS. Read more »
EMS Q&A: Where can I learn CPR? Posted 05/26/2017May 21-27, 2017 is National EMS Week! To help us celebrate, take a moment to learn about what we do, share this blog with your friends, and submit a question of your own! Read more »
EMS Q&A: Did you know MFD paramedics are also firefighters? Posted 05/25/2017May 21-27, 2017 is National EMS Week! To help us celebrate, take a moment to learn about what we do, share this blog with your friends, and submit a question of your own! Read more »
EMS Q&A: What should I expect after calling for an ambulance? Posted 05/24/2017May 21-27, 2017 is National EMS Week! To help us celebrate, take a moment to learn about what we do, share this blog with your friends, and submit a question of your own! Read more »
EMS Q&A: What’s the difference between an EMT and a Paramedic? How many paramedics are on duty? Posted 05/23/2017May 21-27, 2017 is National EMS Week! To help us celebrate, take a moment to learn about what we do, share this blog with your friends, and submit a question of your own! Read more »