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First and foremost, my sincerest thanks to everyone who chose to participate in the voting process on Tuesday November 8th. Voters in the City of Whitewater made a very clear decision to support full-time paid on-premise Emergency Medical Services (EMS), including 24/7 ambulance coverage, night and weekend fire coverage, and a fully-funded equipment replacement program for both fire and ambulance services.
Additionally, thank you to WFD Inc., City of Whitewater staff, and community members who have worked on the ground to demonstrate the importance of 24-hour a day EMS coverage. We would not be able to provide our outstanding fire and ambulance services without all people who dedicate themselves to caring for others. The efforts of the men and women who respond in an emergency cannot be overstated.
On behalf of the City Council, City staff, residents, business owners, and everyone who is impacted by fire and ambulance protection not only in the City of Whitewater but throughout the region, our sincerest appreciation for the trust you have placed in us as we move forward with fully integrated municipal-based Emergency Medical Services. We will immediately begin implementation.
Practically speaking, that means we will be spending the remainder of the year examining the outcomes of our service delivery model over the last several months and continuing to staff on-premise ambulance coverage 24/7 and fire coverage on-premise nights and weekends. We will also be setting up the equipment replacement fund and making other targeted additions to the staffing model as presented to the community. We will also be looking at ways internally to improve services including additional medical training, cross-training between ambulance and fire services, and ways to improve the paramedic intercept program.
Longer term, the City has already started and will continue to work with the State legislature and other communities heavily impacted by the municipal services reimbursement program at a State level to ensure adequate financial support for the services the City provides to State-owned property, including University of Wisconsin - Whitewater property. We will also continue meeting with regional health care providers to enhance and locate more acute and emergent medical services closer to Whitewater in an effort to further reduce transport times and provide access to higher quality care.
Personally, it has been a very rewarding experience for me to join the community during this critical time and I am pleased to see overwhelming support for on-premise 24/7 ambulance coverage and dedicated night and weekend fire protection. For my part, I will work to ensure that the resources allocated to the City by its taxpayers is spent efficiently and effectively while also keeping the people served by fire and ambulance services at the forefront of our decision-making process. Thank you again and take care.
Best, John S. Weidl – City Manager, Whitewater Wisconsin