If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Because of the resignations of 15 Emergency Medical Technicians from the Boyceville ambulance service, the Colfax Village Board has approved an ambulance response agreement with Boyceville.
With the loss of two-thirds of the EMTs at Boyceville, the State of Wisconsin EMS Board is requiring an ambulance response agreement so that Colfax can transport patients from the Boyceville ambulance district’s service area, said Don Knutson, director of the Colfax Rescue Squad, at the Colfax Village Board’s April 26 meeting.
Following a meeting of the Boyceville Community Ambulance District Board on April 14, the Boyceville EMTs announced that they were resigning.
The Colfax Messenger covered the meeting of the ambulance district board for the Glenwood City Tribune Press Reporter.
The EMTs told the ambulance district board they no longer wanted to be EMTs in Boyceville because the ambulance district board had not listened to them and had not hired the director they wanted.
The Boyceville ambulance district board has hired Wayne Dow as the EMS chief.
Dow grew up in Boyceville and is a retired paramedic who served with Dubuque Fire and Rescue in Dubuque, Iowa, for 24 years. He served for 14 years as the EMS supervisor and the ambulance service director.
Dubuque has a population of 60,000, and the Dubuque fire department has a Class 2 Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating. ISO classes range from 1 to 10.
Boyceville resident Herb Dow, Wayne Dow’s father, passed away in December of 2019 and had been a founding member of the Boyceville ambulance service, serving as an EMT from 1974 to 2004.
Boyceville is a full-time ambulance service with EMTs staffing the ambulance station 24 hours per day.
Eight EMTs remain on the roster, along with Dow.
The current protocol is that if there is only one EMT at the Boyceville station, the EMT will respond to a call to provide first aid, and Colfax, Menomonie, Glenwood City or Dallas will be called to provide an ambulance to transport the patient.
Under the agreement approved by the Colfax Village Board, if Colfax responds with an ambulance to a Boyceville call and transports a patient, Colfax will invoice Boyceville for $500 and also will invoice the patient for services rendered.
The agreement mirrors an agreement Menomonie is using with Boyceville, Knutson said, adding that he did not wish to get into a “bidding war” with the other ambulance services and kept the fee for transporting a patient at $500.
Colfax can always turn down the call if necessary, Knutson said.
If Colfax does go with an ambulance on a Boyceville call, the Chippewa Fire Protection District will back up Colfax and move an ambulance and crew to the Howard fire station for standby, he said.
Under those circumstances, the Chippewa ambulance would be considered mutual aid for Colfax and there would be no cost to the Colfax Rescue Squad, Knutson said.
The agreement with Boyceville is indefinite, although the Wisconsin EMS Board will not allow the situation to go on forever, Knutson said.
All ambulance services are currently looking for EMTs, and Knutson said he had no idea how long it would take for Boyceville to hire more EMTs.
The ambulance response agreement is required for Boyceville to be able to continue operating for now, he said.
Knutson said the ambulance response agreement with Boyceville was a matter of “help your neighbor because someday you may need help.”
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the ambulance response agreement with Boyceville.
Here are some of the specifics from the agreement:
Colfax Rescue agrees to respond into the Boyceville Community Ambulance District’s jurisdiction to transport patients subject to the following terms:
• Colfax Rescue receives a request for patient transport from the Boyceville Community ambulance district or the Dunn County Emergency Communication Center.
• Colfax Rescue is able to respond based on staffing, calls within its own jurisdiction, or other circumstances beyond their control which would prevent a response.
• Colfax Rescue shall be solely responsible for the billing and collection associated with service.
• Colfax Rescue shall bill, and the Boyceville Community Ambulance District shall pay, $500 for each patient transported from within the Boyceville Community Ambulance District’s jurisdiction.
• This agreement shall remain in effect while the Boyceville Community Ambulance District operates in the capacity of First Responder (EMR) due to staffing shortages.
• This agreement may be terminated by either party upon written notification and shall become effective immediately upon confirmation of receipt.
In other business, the Colfax Village Board:
• Approved a temporary Class “B”/ “Class B” retailer’s license from May 1 to November 1 for the Colfax Softball Association at Tom Prince Memorial Park.
• Approved purchasing a John Deere 1570 TerrainCut commercial front mower with a 72-inch PRO commercial side discharge mower for $10,600. The sale price reflected the allowance of a $15,400 trade-in value for the 2018 John Deere 1570.