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EMS Complaints and Investigation

Wisconsin has a high-quality pre-hospital emergency medical services system. Licensed EMS personnel, EMS services, and Certified EMS Training Centers strive for competent and caring provision of care. However, when a problem is experienced, anyone has the right to file a complaint. The Wisconsin EMS Section receives and reviews all complaints about EMS personnel, services, and Certified EMS Training Centers regarding EMS issues and violations of the EMS administrative rule Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110 and/or Wis. Stat. ch. 256.

How to make a complaint

Complaints may be made by a member of the community, a peer, a co-worker, an EMS service provider, and/or educational institutions. The complaint should be in writing. The complaint is considered confidential until probable cause is found. There is no absolute guarantee of confidentiality or anonymity.

Please be as accurate and factual as possible when making a complaint. If the complaint is determined to have merit, the investigation can be expanded. The EMS Section does not investigate complaints regarding cost of services.

Please note: The State of Wisconsin does not regulate what an ambulance service can charge for their services. Typically this is regulated through the ambulance services administration and in some case by the local governmental agency (city, town, village, or county). If you have an issue with the cost of service, please ask the ambulance service who sets their rates and address the issue with that entity.

You can file a complaint against a provider regulated by the Wisconsin EMS Section by:

  1. File a complaint online by completing the Complaint Intake Survey, F-00567.
  2. Download, complete and send the EMS complaint form F-00567 (Word document) to the Wisconsin EMS Section to file your complaint.
  3. Contact the Program Coordinator for further information.

Objectives of a complaint investigation

  1. Factually establish what happened.
  2. Determine if EMS personnel were involved in a violation of Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110 and/or Wis. 256.
  3. Determine whether the conduct or behavior was intentional or unintentional.
  4. Determine if the conduct was the result of an action or inaction by EMS personnel.
  5. Determine the reasonableness and basis of EMS personnel actions and evaluate any explanation given.
  6. Uncover all pertinent facts so they will be rendered admissible in an appeals hearing.
  7. Determine if a violation occurred in regards to Administrative rule Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110 and/or Wis. Stat. ch. 256.

The EMS Section coordinates all EMS investigations for the state. All complaints will be considered for investigation. The EMS Section reserves the right to determine, based on statute and administrative rules, if an investigation is warranted and what the action of the EMS Unit will be in regards to the complaint. When the investigation is complete, a determination is made by the EMS Section and the DHS Office of Legal Counsel EMS Attorney if a violation has occurred and if disciplinary action will be pursued. If the provider wishes to appeal any actions, they can request an appeal under Wis. Admin. Code § 110.59.

Last revised March 3, 2023