Emergency Medical Services
BC J. Austad: Fire Department Emergency Medical Services
The Emergency Medical Services division manages the department's paramedic ambulance services and education program. The EMS division coordinates continuing education for paramedics as well as public education. The City of Oshkosh Fire Department responds to all emergency and non-emergency medical calls within the city limits. It also responds to emergency calls in the following areas:
- City of Omro
- Village of Winneconne
- Town of Winneconne
- Town of Nekimi
- Town of Van Dyne
- Town of Black Wolf
- Town of Algoma
- Town of Poygan
- Town of Omro
- Town of Rushford
All of the townships that the Oshkosh Fire Department responds to have first responder groups with defibrillators. These volunteer first responders respond to all incidents and stabilize the patient before the arrival of the Oshkosh Fire Department ambulance.
The Oshkosh Fire Department receives its dispatches from the Winnebago County 911 center located at the Winnebago County Sherriff’s Office. 911 dispatchers use a medical priority dispatch system to determine the resources needed and if the responders should use their lights and siren.
The Oshkosh Fire Department provides medical care with paramedics. Paramedics provide the highest level of pre-hospital care available in Emergency Medical Services. Ambulances strategically located at the city’s six fire stations respond with fire trucks to provide timely care to the citizens of Oshkosh. Ambulances are staffed with two firefighter/paramedics. Three ‘primary ‘ambulances are always staffed and ready to respond. If all three of the ‘primary’ ambulances are busy, the fire trucks in Oshkosh are also staffed with paramedics. The paramedics on the fire engines can respond with additional ‘cross staffed’ ambulances to provide seamless care, even during very busy periods. A duty chief monitors call volumes throughout the city to ensure Oshkosh always has the ability to further respond to medical or fire emergencies that may arise.
The advantage to staffing all Oshkosh Fire Department vehicles with paramedics is two fold. First, it allows for the rapid deployment of paramedics to any of the emergency calls, regardless of the vehicle the paramedics respond on. This allows for multiple paramedics on the most serious calls. It also provides additional personnel for moving patients out of difficult places, through tight corners in homes and businesses, etc. Most homes are designed for people to move around vertically, not horizontality when seriously injured or ill. Second, this allows the fire department to respond to multiple incidents if the need arises, above the three ‘primary’ ambulances the city staffs.
The Oshkosh Fire Department receives medical direction from the emergency department physicians at Aurora Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh. Paramedics are able to contact the hospital of patient’s choice to speak with physicians and nurses regarding the patient’s care.
The Oshkosh Fire Department will transport patients to the hospital of their choice within the Fox Valley area. These hospitals are Mercy Medical Center and Aurora Hospital in Oshkosh, Saint Agnes in Fond du Lac, Theda Clark in Neenah, Saint Elizabeth and Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, and also to Berlin and Ripon Hospitals. The Oshkosh Fire Department will also transport to other facilities upon request of Mercy Medical Center or Aurora Hospital.
The Oshkosh Fire Department participates in the Fox Valley Regional Trauma Advisory Committee which provides recommendations on treatment and transport for critically injured trauma patients. This committee recommends critically injured patients be transported to Theda Clark Regional Trauma Center, which is verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level II trauma center. The Oshkosh Fire Department utilizes Theda Star and Flight for Life helicopters to assist in transport of critically injured trauma patients to Theda Clark Regional Trauma Center when the conditions warrant.
We welcome any questions you have about Emergency Medical Services provided by the Oshkosh Fire Department. Please call Battalion Chief James Austad at 236-5240.