It isn’t often that nine Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies come together to assist on a call. But when that many do come together, the reason is likely unfortunate and the outcome may be negative.

That didn’t happen in south-central Wisconsin in March of 2019, though. After a semi rear-ended an SUV with nine passengers – six of which were children – near New Glarus, Wis., a total of nine EMS agencies responded to the call which resulted in a positive outcome for all whom were injured.

Because of the collaboration between EMS agencies that took place on March 8, 2019, the following organizations have been recognized as the 2020 Wisconsin Pediatric Champions of the Year:

  • New Glarus Area EMS
  • New Glarus Fire Department
  • Green County EMS
  • Monticello Fire and Rescue
  • Blanchardville EMS
  • Albany EMS
  • Belleville EMS
  • Brooklyn EMS
  • Fitch-Rona EMS

The successful collaboration between the nine EMS Agencies is what it means to be an emergency medicine provider, explains Josh Wescott, an Advanced EMT with New Glarus Area EMS.

“The work that day exemplified what it means to work as a team,” Wescott said. “Dozens of people stepped forward that morning, volunteering their time to care for the impacted individuals. Everybody came together and did everything that they put so many countless hours of training and time towards to be a part of the solution. It was incredible.”

The Award

The Pediatric Champion of the Year Award recognizes Wisconsin EMS providers, crews or stations nominated for outstanding pediatric care in a medical emergency or trauma event, and exceptional effort in pediatric training, quality improvement programs or child injury prevention.

This year, nine EMS Agencies were named as the Pediatric Champion of the Year in response to collaboration on a call that involved two vehicles and 10 individuals, which included four adults and six children. Injuries ranged from minor scrapes and bruises to skull and femur fractures.

“All of the departments in our area work well together,” said Brandi Eyler, EMS Coordinator, Monticello Fire and Rescue. “It’s common to have a couple different ambulance services when there are multiple injuries but with this crash, we had to pull from all different directions and it worked well.”

The Story

A family from Gratriot, Wis., was on their way to Green Bay, Wis. to cheer on their daughter and her basketball team at the WIAA State Basketball Tournament. Shortly into the trek, their SUV hit a deer and was then rear-ended by a semi.

Ron Blumer, Captain of the Monticello Fire Department, was on his way to teach at a local technical college. After about five miles into his hour-long commute, Blumer could see a semi in the road with its hazards on in front of him. There are a lot of deer in the area, so he figured that a semi may have hit a deer. But when he got closer, he saw the SUV on its side in the ditch.

“At first, I was just hoping no one was hurt so I could get to the college to prepare the grounds for the academy’s live fire training,” Blumer said. “But once I saw the severity of the accident and that people were still trapped, I was committed to helping and took it one step at a time just like triage training has taught us.”

Every provider at the scene committed to helping all of those involved to ensure that each individual had a positive outcome. All 10 individuals involved in the crash recovered, something that didn’t seem likely at one point.

Being able to help others in this way is the reason that most people join the EMS field, explains Dan Nufer, EMS Chief at Green County EMS.

“When someone comes up to you and says ‘you were here when this happened,’ and thank you, that’s so rewarding,” he said. “Doctors and nurses have come up and said, ‘when your crew brought a patient in the other day, they did a really great job,’ and hearing that, for me, that’s the paycheck right there.”

On behalf of WI EMSC and Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, we want to extend our gratitude to all EMS providers for the heroic actions taken to ensure that our communities are safe and healthy on a daily basis. Thank you for all that you do!