Written by STEVE OSTERMANN
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 23:00
Board approves agreement, accepts donation, paving way for new software, training of emergency dispatchers
Reaffirming a commitment to upgrade emergency medical dispatch service for local residents, the Grafton Village Board on Tuesday approved an agreement with Aurora Medical Center to enhance and oversee the program.
In finalizing the accord, the board also accepted a $37,105 donation from the Aurora Health Care Foundation to cover the cost of new computer software and training for dispatchers.
Under the agreement, Aurora Medical Center will help the Grafton Police Department link its emergency medical dispatch service to a new program purchased by Ozaukee County.
The department is responsible for dispatching fire and emergency medical services for both the Village and Town of Grafton.
Tuesday’s decision reaffirms the village’s commitment in May to donate $15,000 to the Aurora Health Care Foundation, which requested contributions from the village and town to help cover upgrade costs. The town subsequently agreed to donate $5,000.
The foundation’s $37,105 donation, which includes the village and town contributions, will pay for a medical director to supervise the emergency medical dispatch program, including training and evaluating personnel.
In a presentation to the board in May, Grafton Fire Chief William Rice said the software and training will upgrade dispatchers’ response to victims waiting for professional emergency medical assistant to arrive at their locations.
Rice said the software will provide the location of all automated external defibrillators in the village in relation to a specific call for service.
In addition to the start-up cost, the software will require an annual maintenance fee of about $5,000.
Village officials praised the agreement, which they said will enhance the life-saving potential of dispatchers’ roles in medical emergency calls. The upgrades will begin this fall.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for the village that will serve us well,” said Police Chief Charles Wenten, who reviewed and recommended the program along with Rice.
Village Administrator Darrell Hofland said the agreement calls for the village to use Aurora Medical Center as its emergency medical direction hospital for at least three years, with annual renewal dates of Sept. 1 subject to review.
Hofland praised Wenten for his role in finalizing the agreement.
“The level of review as requested by Aurora is somewhat unique,” Hofland said.
“Chief Wenten worked to make sure we are in conformance with state and federal law.”