The Fire Department is organized into various divisions. The Emergency Medical Service Operations Division is responsible for overseeing the Emergency Medical Services provided by the Two Rivers Fire Department. Staff personnel monitor the equipment and supplies used in providing care. The Department currently has 18 personnel trained to the level of EMT-Paramedic. All new personnel hired are trained to the level of EMT-Paramedic.
Medical Direction is also a very important piece in providing care to the community. The Emergency Department Physicians at Aurora Medical Center assist in providing quality medical direction. This is overseen by Dr. Laura Vogel-Schwartz who is also the Two Rivers Fire Department's Medical Director.
The Two Rivers Fire Department has a lengthy history in providing Emergency Medical Services to the City of Two Rivers and surrounding area. In the later 1950's, the Two Rivers Fire Department had assumed the responsibility for the care and transportation of patient's in need of medical attention from the area Funeral Homes. The initial care provided was basic first aid and transportation provided in a Cadillac Station wagon. The scene of EMS today has changed dramatically.
Fire Department personnel increased their skills in 1965 when they became certified as EMT-Basics. This level of care was provided for the next 20 years. The level of care had changed as well as the vehicles. Vans were taking the place of the Cadillac for the transportation needs. In 1985 the Department upgraded to the level of EMT-Intermediate. They now could administer IV fluids and a few medications. The Cardiac Monitor/Defibrillator was also introduced into the patient care setting during this time.
The scene of EMS continued to change at a faster pace than the previous 30 years. Modular Ambulances were taking to the streets, which is currently being used. By the mid 1990's discussions were being raised in reference to advancing to the level of EMT-Paramedic. This concept evolved into reality 1997 when 14 personnel completed the Paramedic Course conducted through Lakeshore Technical College. Personnel continue to train through Lakeshore Technical College for continuing education requirements.
Continuing with TRFD's goal to stay ahead of the curve on EMS training, 17 of our department's paramedics achieved Critical Care certification in 2012. The training prepared our paramedics to function as a critical care transport team member for critically ill or injured patients requiring transport between medical facilities. The certification provided our paramedics with the knowledge of special assessment techniques and the needs of the critical care patient, the ability to operate and troubleshoot critical care transport equipment, and develop the skills necessary to maintain the stability of critical care patients during transport. The certification followed the Wisconsin curriculum for license endorsement as a Wisconsin Critical Care Transport Paramedic.
A person can request a Two Rivers Fire Department ambulance by calling 911. This is the best way to activate the EMS System. A trained dispatcher will answer your call; they will provide the needed medical direction for your medical care until the ambulance arrives. The Two Rivers Fire Department provides both emergent and non-emergent care and transportation. The initial response will be by either of the 3 ALS ambulances with 2 to 3 personnel. In the event of multiple incidents, an EMS response may be done by the Fire Department's utility vehicle. The utility vehicle is equipped with Basic and Advanced Life Support supplies along with a Cardiac Monitor. This vehicle is also used to respond out of the city to assist the Mishicot Ambulance Service with paramedic intercept requests.
In 2012, the Two Rivers Fire Department responded to 1377 total EMS requests. Of those total responses, 256 were interfacility transfers. During interfacility transfers, patients are moved from Aurora Medical Center to another hospital, nursing home, other medical facility, or their home. Paramedic Intercept services are also provided for surrounding ambulance providers. These operations enhance the entire EMS system for our community and surrounding area. No matter what the request may be for medical attention, we at the Two Rivers Fire Department will be there to assist.
The Two Rivers Fire Department charges a fee for service provided, either for Basic Life Support or Advanced Life Support. These fees are billed to the patient or their insurance provider through a private billing firm. OC Billing Services handles the billing operations for self pay, private insurances, as well as Medicaid and Medicare. With the changes that have taken place with Medicare and Medicaid, a new fee structure was established to follow their guidelines. The following is our current fee schedule. Besides the base rates, there may be actual fees charged for supplies and medication used.