(WFRV) – EMS Week is a time to thank the people who respond when a life is on the line, but what kind of calls do they receive on a daily basis?
For Gold Cross in Menasha and the Appleton Fire Department, it is mostly helping people who have fallen.
Falls make up the highest percentage of both Gold Cross and Appleton’s EMS calls, with Gold Cross at about 21% and Appleton at about 18%.
Due to the high volume of fall calls, the Appleton Fire Department launched a fall prevention program.
Public Education Specialist for Appleton Alex Quintana says, “When we respond to a fall call, and we deem that this person could use services, we would ask them if we could refer them to the Outagamie County Aging and Disability Resource Center so that they could be partnered up with some of our community partners to help make their home just a little bit safer.”
Emergencies of all types have increased for both departments in the last 4-5 years. Gold Cross had a 23% increase in call volume in the last 5 years, while Appleton had a 35% increase in 4 years.
For Gold Cross, Operations Director Nick Romenesko says the toughest cases to respond to are cardiac arrests.
“Only about 21% of the cardiac arrests we encounter and bring to the hospital actually make it to survival, where the rest, unfortunately, pass away. Having to deliver that news to family members or loved ones is really difficult,” Romenesko says.
Both Appleton and Gold Cross provide mental health resources to their staff to help them handle the emotional toll the job can have on them.
While EMS staffing shortages have been a problem nationwide, the Appleton Fire Department and Gold Cross both say they have made new hires and are currently fully staffed.