Baraboo, UW Developing Community Paramedics

By: AP
By: AP

BARABOO, Wis. (AP) -- A new pilot study in Sauk County will test whether specially-trained paramedics can reduce visits to the local emergency room.

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the Baraboo District Ambulance Service are working with several partners on a study of community paramedics. The idea is to train paramedics to do in-home evaluations of patients that may suffer from asthma, pulmonary disease or other conditions.

Principal investigator, Dr. Marv Birnbaum, says most 911 calls are from patients with conditions that can be managed at home. Birnbaum tells Wisconsin Public Radio News the paramedics will receive about six months of education and training. He says Wisconsin is one of only a handful of states looking at creating the community paramedic programs.

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