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DHFS 24-Hour Emergency Telephone Hotline for Reporting Public Health and Human Services Emergencies

PDF Version of BQA 06-008 (PDF 36 KB)

Date: May 15, 2006 -- DDES-BQA 06-008

FROM: Jane Walters, Deputy Director, Bureau of Quality Assurance

Via: Otis Woods, Director, Bureau of Quality Assurance

As part of the Department's emergency preparedness planning initiatives and technical assistance, the following guidance is provided to assist health care facilities in their emergency preparedness planning efforts.

The purpose of this memorandum is to notify providers of the Department of Health and Family Services' (DHFS) 24-hour emergency telephone hotline, 1-608-258-0099 EmergencyManagement.htm

The Department maintains on-call staff in four technical areas:

  • Natural disasters and chemical incidents;
  • Nuclear/radiological;
  • Communicable Disease; and
  • Human Services, to assist local personnel and agencies in an emergency.

The Bureau of Quality Assurance requires specific notification in one other instance:

  • Please be aware that all fires in a licensed health or residential care facility in Wisconsin must be reported to the Department of Health and Family Services within 72 hours. Please refer to BQA Memo 00-017 at the following site: Written reports can be submitted to the Department by using form DDE-2500, but all fires in a Wisconsin licensed health or residential facility that result in serious injury or death must be reported to the DHS hotline.

The DHS hotline is for reporting emergencies that involve public health and human services. When calling this number, 1- 608-258-0099, callers should provide their name, agency/facility, and telephone number; the type of incident, public health or human services; date and time of the incident; the facility name and/or location where the incident occurred; and any other pertinent information. The caller must clearly state if the incident is a public health concern or relates to human services. This information is important in order to forward the call appropriately.

Call the hotline number even if you are in doubt as to whether you need to report an incident. Your information will be forwarded to the DHS staff on call for public health and human services. Depending on the incident, the DHS on-call staff will forward the information to appropriate contacts for necessary action, and/or contact you for additional information.

This memorandum should be shared with all staff. The DHS 24-hour emergency hotline number, 1-608-258-0099 should be readily available to staff and posted in a prominent location. For other types of emergencies, and to receive coordinated State agency assistance, contact the Wisconsin Emergency Management Hotline at 1-800-943-0003, 1-608 242-3232, or at


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