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Paramedics complete Critical Care training


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Several Wausau paramedics have completed some very advanced training to handle special situations. It’s called Critical Care Paramedic training. Wausau Fire Department’s EMS Division Chief Josh Finke is also the trainer for the program through Northcentral Technical College. He says there are special situations where patients need special procedures done before they can get to the hospital, and that’s where this training helps.  “It gives them a more enhanced set of skills for more acutely ill and injured patients in the community, and it really allows them to do some pretty high end skills in the field.”

Finke says one of the challenges more common to the Wausau area is transporting patients that cannot breathe on their own without a ventilator.  “The biggest reason we did it was ventilator management. We have the vent center in town here, and transporting patients on ventilators is something that’s required by the state is to have that additional training, so that was a big part of it. There was some additional airway management skills and some additional trauma skills that they can do, and then a lot of numbers and values that relate to laboratory analysis and things of that nature.”

The Critical Care Paramedic level of training is offered at three technical schools in Wisconsin. Right now, about a dozen of Wausau’s paramedics have completed this training, which is about a third of the ambulance staff. Finke says they schedule their crews to have at least one of them on duty all of the time.  “This brings a higher level of care to the people of Wausau. We’re one of only a few services in the state that have this additional training.”