2017 Legislator of the Year Awards
At the Wisconsin State Fire Chief's Association Annual Conference held at the KI Center in Green Bay on June 23, 2017 two Legislator of the Year awards were bestowed. Representative Amy Loudenbeck representing Wisconsin's 31st Assembly District and Representative Katrina Shankland representing Wisconsin's 71st Assembly District received the Legislator of the Year awards.
Representative Loudenbeck and Representative Shankland were co-authors of Assembly Bill 59 which clarified the Emergency Medical Licensure levels in Wisconsin to more accurately reflect national standards. Assembly Bill 59 was signed into law by Governor Walker on June 21, 2017. Assembly Bill 59 was a necessary pre-cursor to Assembly Bill 151 – Community Emergency Medical Services (CEMS).
Assembly Bill 151 modernizes Emergency Medical Services by allowing Community Paramedics and Community EMT's to address the changing and challenging needs of health care. CEMS will grant Paramedics, EMT's greater latitude to prevent and address medical problems. CEMS will build partnerships in an attempt to transport patients to more appropriate destinations, curb unnecessary transports and ensure the best patient care while increasing efficiencies and patient outcomes. Assembly Bill 151 – CEMS has been unanimously approved by the Assembly and is awaiting action by the State Senate.
"I'm very honored to be named Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs' Association, and appreciate everything the WSFCA does to advocate for policies that improve fire and emergency medical services in our state," said Representative Shankland. "One of the proposals that I have worked closely with the WSFCA on is legislation to create a Community Paramedic and EMS program, which would increase healthcare access in communities across the state. The WSFCA has been an integral partner in crafting this legislation, and I look forward to continuing our work together as we move this crucial bill forward."
Representative Amy Loudenbeck stated "I have great respect for the fire service and the work these dedicated professionals do to protect people and property in Wisconsin. It is an honor to be recognized by the Wisconsin Fire Chief's Association as their legislator of the year, and I look forward to continuing to work on public policy issues with their fine organization."
Greenfield Fire-Rescue Chief Jon Cohn who also serves as the WSFCA President said, "Representative Loudenbeck and Representative Shankland are truly examples of the great work that can get done when reaching across the partisan aisle. Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs are grateful of their efforts in supporting public safety, fire, emergency medical services and our departments across the state."
Town of Madison Fire Chief David Bloom said "Legislator of the Year awards are not handed out to just anyone but those that support fire, emergency medical services and our members." Bloom further stated "these awards are to recognize the past efforts of Loudenbeck and Shankland but we look forward to continuing to work with them and all Legislators to ensure the best fire and emergency medical services across Wisconsin."