As an emergency medical service (EMS) provider, you may never know what to expect when responding to a call. In June 2020, that statement rang true for the Footville Fire Department and the Janesville Fire Department Ambulance Service.

Footville Fire Department was initially called out to a motor vehicle accident and knew that a child was injured. However as time went on, and as they arrived on the scene, the picture of what happened began to come clear and additional help from Janesville Fire Department Ambulance Service was needed.

On that call, the two agencies successfully collaborated to provide thorough care to the 17-month-old patient and ensure a successful outcome. With that, the two agencies were awarded as the 2021 Wisconsin Pediatric Champions of the Year by Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children (WI EMSC).

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, two EMS agencies were named the Pediatric Champion of the Year in response to collaboration and thorough care on a call that involved a 17-month-old child being hit by a car as it was backing out of the driveway. After the child was stabilized and driven by ambulance to a nearby hospital, the patient was then flown to a pediatric facility for care.

“There was a total of 10 first responders and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) on the scene that did a great job of working together,” said Randi Mielke, advanced EMT, firefighter and head of administration at the Footville Fire Department. “By collaborating and working together, all 10 providers were able to aid in making sure the patient got the care that they needed.”

Caring for children in the time of emergency is no simple task. Children aren’t just small adults, and they require specially sized equipment, assessment methods and calming techniques than adults. The Footville Fire Department, as estimated by Randi, sees no more than two or three pediatric calls a year so being properly trained for children during emergencies is crucial.

In the call that involved the 17-month-old child, both of the responding agencies used different tactics to properly treat the patient. Footville Fire Department has special tools such as Broselow Tape, which allows EMTs to obtain an accurate weight estimate so appropriate equipment sizes and drug dosages can be calculated. Footville Fire Department utilizes calming devices that include different toys and fidget devices to help soothe and distract their pediatric patients

With the help of special pediatric equipment, toys and successful collaboration, the 17-month-old child was properly assessed and treated to ensure a positive outcome. Emergency situations can be unexpected and scary, but collaboration between agencies, such as what took place with Footville Fire Department and the Janesville Fire Department Ambulance Service, can guarantee that the situation will have a positive outcome.

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!