Madison is fortunate to have one of the oldest paramedic service programs in the country. This year we celebrate 50 years of this life saving, state of the art, human-centered service and the people who have made it possible. We celebrated this in-person last week where I joined Chief Carbon, Local 311 President Mitchell, Medical Director Dr. Gussick, retired Division Chief Dibble, Assistant Chief Stedman, as well as the longest-serving Medical Director, Dr. Birnbaum, in sharing a few words of appreciation and a bit of Madison history. Below are my remarks.

Hello and thank you for joining us tonight.

I am delighted to celebrate 50 years of the Madison Fire Department paramedic program.

As you may know, in 1972, Mayor William Dyke endorsed and approved the first paramedic training program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital – a federally funded program available to only a few cities in the United States. From its very beginning the Madison paramedic program has been ahead of its time and 50 years later this room is a testament to the talent, care, and steadfast commitment to service that MFD paramedics, and the team that supports them, exemplify.

Thank you all for consistently being a bright spot in Madisonians' most vulnerable and challenging life moments.

I want to congratulate the folks getting awards today, but I also want to congratulate all of you on your remarkable work for the residents of Madison. To the retirees in the room – thanks for your service, and I hope you’re enjoying retirement! To the medical directors and educators, thanks for making sure our folks have the best possible training. And to our paramedics – thank you for saving lives every day.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.