Beloit Fire Department's paramedic program celebrates 40 years

The Beloit Fire Department celebrates a milestone.

In January 1974 the City of Beloit Fire department was invited to participate in the University of Wisconsin’s Paramedic training program in Madison. Fire Chief Herb Christiansen went before the city council in February of that year proposing a plan to send nine firefighters to paramedic training at the UW hospital in Madison. The council gave the go-ahead to Chief Christiansen to start the program however there was no funding because the city budget had been set for the year. Seeing the importance of such a program the citizens of Beloit came forward and donated $39,000 to help the fire department begin the paramedic program. Beloit would become the first community, in the state of Wisconsin, with a population under 50,000 people to have a paramedic service.

On May 17th 2014 the Beloit Fire Department will be celebrating 40 years of Paramedicine by hosting an open house at Beloit Fire Headquarters. The open house will run from 10am till 2pm and will include demonstrations on current medical care practices, paramedic program retirees, Mercy Health Systems Trauma Care Program and Beloit Health Systems Stroke Care Program, UW Med Flight and Rockford Memorial REACT and blood pressure screenings and displays of past and present medical equipment.