Emergency Medical Services - About Us

Emergency Medical Services in Portage County is provided by a system of emergency medical responders and ambulance services.
Ambulance services

Portage County contracts with Stevens Point and Amherst to provide Intermediate and Paramedic level care and ambulance transport across the county. The Town of Grant contracts with United EMR.

Emergency Medical Responders

  • Rudolph
  • Dewey
  • Sharon
  • Hull
  • Rosholt
  • Stockton
  • Plover
  • Bancroft/Pine Grove
  • Almond
  • Amherst
  • Wild Rose
  • Grant

Emergency Medical Responders (EMRs) are also known as first responders and are volunteers within their communities and are certified by the State of Wisconsin. Many of the responders are also trained the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) level. They are dispatched when an ambulance is called and often arrive first to provide care and sometimes life-saving interventions such as rescue breathing, defibrillation or bleeding control before the ambulance arrives. EMRs and EMTs can also administer some emergency medications. After the ambulance arrives, EMRs continue to assist in patient care and play an important role in scene management, lifting help and safety.

McCain Foods and Worzalla Publishing also have EMR groups within their organizations.

The Emergency Medical Responder groups welcome new members. Contact the EMS Coordinator (link: fraleym@co.portage.wi.us) for more information about volunteering.

Rapid Response Unit
Since 2006 the County has operated a Rapid Response Unit in various fashions to respond to emergencies. The vehicle is a Chevy Tahoe and is housed at Stevens Point FD Station #1. The unit is used to respond with an ambulance when a supervisor may be needed to assist the ambulance crew with a difficult case.

Medical Direction
Medical oversight for our system is provided by the physicians at Ministry Saint Michael’s Hospital Emergency Department, one of whom, Timothy Vayder, DO, FACOEP, serves as our medical director. Dr. Vayder is board certified in emergency medicine and has received sub-specialty training in EMS medical direction. He actively participates in the planning, development, training and quality improvement of the system. Dr. Curtis also serves as a liaison for the system to other healthcare providers in the region such as hospitals and other physicians.

All emergency calls for help in Portage County go to the Portage County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center. Trained Public Safety Communicators follow established protocols and procedures to obtain important information from callers, dispatch the appropriate emergency resources and then stay on the phone to give the caller life-saving medical instructions when needed. The dispatchers maintain communication with the responders throughout the call and help coordinate other resources or information when requested.

Portage County EMS is dedicated to provide quality response and care. In 2009, the County developed the EMS Coordinator role to support the ambulance services, emergency medical responders and medical director with quality initiatives. The system current has five categories of performance benchmarks around which its quality improvement projects are developed:

    • Response time reliability
    • Clinical excellence
    • Customer satisfaction
    • Operational safety
    • Organizational culture of cooperation and mutual support