EMS History

Emergency Medical Services

During the 1800s, citizens such as the village doctor and funeral home owner handled emergency medical services. The first vehicle used was a Ford Model T in 1919, followed by a 1926 Studebaker Big Six which was used as a combination ambulance and pallbearer's car. Next to come was the Cadillac 7 passenger limo which was converted to an ambulance by the removal of the center post.

From 1958-1965 the station wagon was used. Finding it no longer feasible to operate an ambulance service, the funeral home owner gave the station wagon and service to the fire department in 1965. At the time he gave up the service, an ambulance fee of $15 was charged for non-emergency runs and an extra $3 for an emergency run. The service had over 40% non-collectible accounts.

The fire department had the station wagon for less than a week, when it decided it took too much manpower, so they shifted the service to John Ward, who had been a private provider with the village.

The fire department did not become involved in the ambulance business until 1977, when a law placed new requirements upon emergency response units, which was hard for the private contractors to meet. From then on the fire department would respond to both rescue and ambulance calls.

The level of training has continued to rise through the years. In 2002, the Menomonee Falls Fire Department has an EMS program providing EMT-Basic, including the three new advanced skills, administering Glucagon, Albuterol and Aspirin. Also in 2002, the Department upgraded its EMS to the advanced level of EMT-IV Technician. At this level, EMTs are licensed to start IVs in the field in addition to administering new medications such as Narcan, Dextrose, Atrovent, and Nitroglycerin.