Emergency Medical Services
During the 1800s, citizens such as the village doctor and funeral homeowner 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.
Here's a 1977 memo from Police Chief Charles Kuhn announcing the new MFFD ambulance service.
The MFFD had some members who were among the earliest Emergency Medical Technicians in the State.
The four MFFD members pictured here are among that group. They are holding a trophy from a tech school EMT skills competition.
Pictured from L-R are: Kenneth "Kenny" Bilgo, Gordon "Gordy" Esser, Charles "Charlie" Keller and Francis "Pete" McDonald.
The Department's EMT-Basics participated in a State pilot program in the use of EKG's in the field using Physio-Control Lifepack 5 Monitor/Defibrillators with cassette tape recorders. Prior to this study, this skill was only performed by EMT-Paramedics.
The level of training has continued to rise through the years. Since 2002, the Menomonee Falls Fire Department's EMS program has been providing EMT-Basic, including three advanced skills, administering Glucagon, Albuterol and Aspirin. Also in 2002, the department upgraded its EMS program 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.
In 2016, MFFD began providing paramedic service, responding from Station 3. Paramedic skills include monitoring and treating cardiac rhythm disturbances, pain relief and providing a secure airway via endotracheal intubation. Current staffing allows us to respond from three stations with a paramedic-staffed ambulance. Many of our paramedics have advanced standing with the endorsement of Critical Care Transport Paramedic.
Our most recent addition is the Mobile Integrated Health Group.