MILWAUKEE – At a Milwaukee Common Council meeting Tuesday, the body approved forwarding a resolution aimed at urging changes to emergency response policies for ambulance services operating within the city.
The resolution was spearheaded by Alderman Lamont Westmoreland, and follows the January 15th incident involving Jolene Waldref, a South Milwaukee woman who called 911 for support near a bus stop at 76th and Congress on Milwaukee’s north side, was not located by the responding ambulance crew, and ultimately passed away.
“The event that took place several weeks ago that resulted in a loss of life was upsetting, and in my opinion very avoidable,” said Alderman Westmoreland. “This legislation passed today urges the Fire Department and our ambulance providers to revisit their standard operation procedures, and look into additional ways in which situations such as this one can be prevented in the future. We owe it to our constituents to offer the best services possible, especially in times of distress. I look forward to continuing this conversation and bolstering our procedures with all the parties involved.”
The resolution includes three pillars:
- Urges the Chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department and all certified ambulance service providers operating within the City of Milwaukee 911 system to require responders to exit their vehicles and search for those requiring assistance at and beyond the location or landmark to which responders were dispatched, predicated upon the responders’ ability to visually and with certainty clear a reasonable area of any victims who may have fallen down.
- Urges the Chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department to conduct an analysis of existing and future technological capabilities to improve the potential for responders to locate cellular telephone 911 callers.
- Urges the Chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department to review existing 911 dispatch protocols and to enhance such responses that occur for patients who are identified as being outdoors in extreme weather conditions.
Additionally, the council sent legislation authorizing an extension of the city’s existing agreements with private ambulance services back to committee. The resolution also includes the urging of Fire Chief Aaron Lipski to undertake a review process with the City’s private ambulance service providers and to report back to the Common Council within seven calendar days of the effective date of the resolution. Lipski has not yet offered comment on the resolution.
Curtis Ambulance President James Baker this week backed off previous assertions that no policies would change, telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Monday he is meeting with Milwaukee Fire Department officials Wednesday to discuss various emergency response policy and protocol changes and has reached out to multiple Common Council members.
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