Ozaukee County County is leader in training to help first responders deal with mentally ill people

  • Source: Ozaukee Press
  • Published: 04/04/2019 01:48 AM

After 17 years in emergency medical services and 10 years as a paramedic, Maribeth Barbuch has pretty much seen it all when it comes to being a first responder. But there’s always room for more tools in her proverbial toolbox, the assistant EMS chief for the Saukville Fire Department and assistant coroner for Ozaukee County said. That new tool is the crisis intervention training on how to deal with cases involving mental illness. Every dispatcher, jailer and deputy in the Ozaukee Sheriff’s Office and about half of all county municipal fire and police departments have been through the same training. Now it’s being offered to hospital emergency room personnel. “I’ve been on a fair amount of calls,” said Barbuch, who also is a lieutenant for Port Washington EMS. “(The training) definitely gave us tools in dealing with patients that are difficult, patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or who maybe are on some drugs or alcohol. Definitely more tools in our tool box.”


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