System News Releases

Emergency Medical Services Week, May 17-23: What You Don't Know About the EMS

May 21, 2015 | Ellen Pincus

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker proclaimed May 17-23 Emergency Medical Service Week, acknowledging that access to quality emergency care dramatically improves survival and recovery rates. If you've ever called an ambulance for a loved one in an emergency, the importance of first responders are immediately obvious. Less apparent is where they learned their life-saving skills; Eighty percent of the nation's firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians are credentialed by community collegesThe Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) is Wisconsin's largest source for EMS training.


Who are the more than 3,000 people who train, test and certify annually at the 16 WTCS colleges throughout the system? They are a special breed of hardworking, brave individuals.  "Few understand the amount of time and dedication it takes to achieve certification to be an EMS provider" says WTCS Education Director of Law, Public Safety and Security, Timothy Weir.  "EMS is comprised mostly (75%-80%) of volunteers who provide services to their communities for little or no compensation." 


While the flashing red lights and loud sirens of emergency vehicles are hard to ignore, less noticeable is the behind the scenes work. According to Weir, the public doesn't realize "The massive commitment it takes to train and provide 24/7 EMS services to the people of this state, not to mention the continued recertification and other regulatory requirements every EMS provider and service are mandated to maintain." 


WTCS is happy to celebrate Emergency Medical Service Week and honor the first responders who save lives when seconds count.


The Wisconsin Technical College System offer training opportunities in law, public safety and security. There are over 120  programs available throughout the state, with nearly all offering advanced EMT, criminal justice law enforcement and paramedic technician programs.Learn about the nation's new premier public safety training center at Fox Valley Technical College here.