Wisconsin County to cut Paramedic Funds


TOM KERTSCHER | | Monday, August 10, 2009

Milwaukee County, which contributed $3 million this year toward providing paramedic services throughout the county, has made its initial funding proposal for paramedic services for 2010.

The amount: zero.

County officials emphasize that no final decisions have been made on any part of the county's 2010 budget, which won't be adopted until the fall.

"The budget is still very early in the process, and so everything is being reviewed," said Lisa Jo Marks, interim director of the county Department of Health and Human Services.

But communities without their own paramedics worry about the county subsidy. So do the paramedic-equipped communities that serve communities without paramedics and count on the subsidy to defray costs.

"I can't put it in number form, but I can feel it in pain form," said Brian Satula, the fire chief in Oak Creek, which has paramedics.

Satula and Ryan McCue, the mayor of Cudahy, which doesn't have paramedics, said the paramedic program has been rated as being among the best in the nation.

"The program is a prime example of how consolidation in Milwaukee County works, and if each community were to run the paramedic program independently, it would cost taxpayers a lot more money than if Milwaukee County were to continue to administer it," McCue said.

Read More Milwaukee County could cut paramedic funding

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