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Milwaukee Ambulance Prepare for Major Roadway Closures

The closure of a major freeway, similar to what we saw with the closing of I-43 Wednesday, meant a lot of people had to spend more time getting to their destination. If you're a medic, with a very sick person in the back of your ambulance, a blocked freeway is the last thing you need.

Medics at Bell Ambulance save lives everyday, it's their mission statement, so they have to plan for anything.

"We divert on to the surface streets, the major arteries north and south," said Scott Mickelsen, Deputy Operations Director for Bell Ambulance.

Mickelsen said he knows the surface streets well, but some of the younger medics may not.

"We teach them the coordinate system in Milwaukee, it kinda gives you a little head start on which way to go," he said.

Sometimes those streets aren't available, and that's when they use their high-tech navigation system.

"We're able to pinch and zoom just like you would on an iPhone," Mickelsen said.

In the case of the I-43 closure, medics in the field were getting help from the people in the dispatch center. They can see the Wisconsin Department of Transportation cameras and carry out a mobilization plan.

"we'll strategically position ambulances maybe a little further north, a little further south, west, east, wherever the blockage is happening," Mickelsen added.

Mickelsen said ambulances may have been delayed a minute or two during the closure, but it's nothing that put the lives of patients in jeopardy.

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