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As Washington County continues to see growth and development, particularly at the south end, a new EMS center recently opened in Wausau.

The station is on Jefferson Street and houses a newly purchased ambulance, which will be staffed by two personnel members at all hours. 

“This will be the hub for our community paramedic and opioid program,” EMS Director Randy Truette said.

Washington County has opened a new EMS center in Wausau, expected to serve as a central location for the area and because the county is growing. Pictured: Sheriff Kevin Crews, Matt Odom, Kelly Roche, Jen Buswell, Joe Green, Richard Finch, Lynn Eubanks, Bri Suggs, Joey Tharp, EMS Director Randy Truette, Seamus O’Neill and County Board of County Commissioners Chairman David Pettis. [COLLIN BREAUX | Washington County News] 

The paramedic program will see EMS personnel follow up with people after they get released from the hospital, such as if they had a fall. The follow-up visit will involve an evaluation and include an assessment of if telehealth services are required.

“It’s going to be huge for the community, for elderly people that can’t drive,” Truette said.

As for the opioid and substance abuse treatment portion, EMS is partnering with PanCare Health for treatment referrals.

The hope is that medical service personnel can catch up with patients before they go “off the deep end” of addiction, Truette said.

The overall idea for the new Wausau center is to have a location central to the county and help decrease “flooding” emergency rooms, he said.

The station has a one-year lease. 

“We’re going to reevaluate the best location,” Truette said. “This may be the best location. We’re always going to have something in this area.”

Truette said calls have increased in recent times. While that number has leveled off for now, Truette expects conditions to change with the development going on in Sunny Hills and the south end of Washington County. 

People are moving into Washington County, including from neighboring Bay County, he said.

Washington County Sheriff Kevin Crews said the Wausau station is “long overdue” and will assist the county in serving residents from a “more centralized” location.

“This gives us three full-time stations,” Crews said.

The new center would not have been possible without the support of residents and the Board of County Commissioners, Crews said.