The City of Kenosha Emergency Medical Services is dedicated to providing compassionate Basic and Advanced Life-Support care, as well as education, transportation and related services that are reliable, professional and tailored to the needs of the community. EMS strives for prompt and appropriate response to all medical emergencies. James T. Poltrock serves as Division Chief of EMS.
The City of Kenosha Fire Department is licensed through the State of Wisconsin Health and Family Services. Medical oversight is provided by Ben Weston, M.D. The Department contracts with Gateway Technical College for EMS continuing education and the training of new paramedics.
The Kenosha Fire Department was recently awarded the "Gold Plus" certification from the American Heart Association for our effort to recognize and treat patients having heart attacks. The award is based on recognician, proper and timely treatment which results in improved outcomes for patients having heart attacks.
- Advanced Life Support
- Heart Monitoring
- Administration of Medications
- Advanced Airway Management
- Intravenous Therapy
- Basic Life Support
- Oxygen Administration
James T. Poltrock
Division Chief of EMS
Each year sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) claims the lives of approximately 250,000 people in the U.S. alone, according to the American Heart Association. Unlike a heart attack in which blood flow to the heart muscle is temporarily blocked, the primary cause of sudden cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation (VF), a life-threatening condition in which the heart’s normal electrical signals become erratic, causing the heart to stop pumping blood effectively. When this occurs, the victim immediately becomes unresponsive, stops breathing, and has no detectable pulse. SCA may occur with or without a heart attack; but, either way – without intervention – it is deadly within minutes. Defibrillation, or restoring the heart’s natural rhythm by applying an electrical shock, is the only definitive treatment for VF.
The underlying causes of SCA are varied and not all are well understood. Many victims have no history of heart disease, or, if heart disease is present, it has not functionally impaired them. SCA can strike both men and women, often without warning.
Surviving SCA is largely dependent on how quickly a victim is defibrillated. For each minute that defibrillation is delayed, the victim’s chance of survival decreases by seven (7) to ten (10) percent (Larsen M.P., et al. Annals of Emergency Medicine 1993;22:1652-1658). Cummins, RO et al., Annals of Emergency Medicine, 1989;18:1269-1275). When defibrillation is provided by community emergency medical services many factors can limit the timely delivery of lifesaving defibrillation to remote rural locations or to urban locations that may be difficult for emergency responders to reach due to the need to negotiate traffic, staircases, elevators, escalators, or crowds of people. Thus, response times for paramedics or emergency medical technicians to arrive on-site with a defibrillator are often more than ten (10) minutes, resulting in average SCA survival rates in the United States of less than five (5) percent.
Both the American Heart Association and the National Center for Early Defibrillation have stated that if even 20% of SCA victims could survive, as many as 40,000 additional lives could be saved each year.