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EMS Complaints and Investigation

Wisconsin works hard to have a high-quality EMS (Emergency Medical Services) system. All parts of EMS strive to provide the best care possible. If you do have a problem with EMS, you have the right to file a complaint.

The EMS office receives and reviews all complaints about:

  • EMS staff.
  • EMS services.
  • Certified EMS training centers.

Complaints may be about EMS issues or violations of Wisconsin law:

Wisconsin Admin. Code ch. DHS 110, EMS Licensing, Certification, and Training Requirements

Wisconsin. Stat. ch. 256, EMS.

Who can file an EMS complaint

You can file a complaint against EMS if you live in Wisconsin and are:

  • A member of the community.
  • A peer.
  • An EMS co-worker.
  • An EMS service provider.
  • An educational institution.

How to make a complaint

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:

Objectives of a complaint investigation

  • Factually establish what happened.
  • Determine if EMS personnel were involved in a violation of Wis. Admin. Code ch. DHS 110 and/or Wis. 256.
  • Determine whether the conduct or behavior was intentional or unintentional.
  • Determine if the conduct was the result of an action or inaction by EMS personnel.
  • Determine the reasonableness and basis of EMS personnel actions and evaluate any explanation given.
  • Uncover all pertinent facts so they will be rendered admissible in an appeals hearing.
  • 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 April 20, 2023