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Falls Remains Behind Sussex in Adding Paramedics

Sussex recently implemented its paramedics program, but the Menomonee Falls Fire Department has other priorities to focus on before adding that service in the village.

In January, the Sussex Fire Department implemented its paramedics program and joined a collection of surrounding communities that already provide the service. But don’t expect Falls to follow suit in the near future.

Larger communities like Brookfield and Wauwatosa all provide paramedics services at their departments. Even small communities like Lisbon and Thiensville offer the service, and Sussex has roughly 20 trained paramedics who are now using their skills in the field.

Sussex is among the communities that provides mutual aid to Menomonee Falls when paramedics are required. Fire chiefs in Sussex, Falls, and Brookfield have said that the earlier care 

  • Related: More on changes within the Menomonee Falls Fire Department

Paramedics are the highest trained life-saving emergency personnel, but if the ambulance says “Menomonee Falls” the responders are EMT technicians — not paramedics. In both cases, the level of care is high, but those who are trained as paramedics can administer certain medications at the highest level.

Paramedics can give medications that increase a patient’s blood pressure during a cardiac arrest, or prevent multiple seizures from a patient suffering from one. Paramedics can also insert breathing tubes through the trachea, plant IVs into bone, and give a person pain medication.

Implementing a paramedics program has always been in consideration in Menomonee Falls, but it’s currently an issue of tackling other priorities for the department.

“Our goal is to always give our residents the best services, and it’s something we are always working on for the betterment of the community,” said Anna Ruzinski, who for the past year has served as the director of protective services. “This is something that’s always in consideration.”

In a Patch poll from the original story on the paramedics topic, 89 percent of the nearly 300 respondents supported adding a paramedics program to the fire department.

Last year, Ruzinski was placed in charge of both the fire and police departments. Since then, she’s spearheaded a structural reorganization of the entire fire department. The fire department is in the thick of transitioning to new operating procedures, and Ruzinski is just weeks from hiring an additional battalion chief.

Menomonee Falls is also preparing to build two new fire stations for almost $6 million.

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