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When approaching law enforcement and other emergency vehicles, tow trucks, road machinery or highway construction or maintenance vehicles (that are stopped on or near a highway and are using flashing emergency lights), you must move into a lane not nearest the stopped vehicle and travel in that lane until you have gone by the stopped vehicle(s). If it is unsafe to move into another lane, slow down until you have passed the stopped vehicle(s).
In most cases, we are able to respect a patient's wishes as to which hospital they would like to go to. If you aren't sure which hospital to go to, the paramedics can help you decide which one may be preferred based on the patient's medical condition and/or any insurance they may have. In some cases, the patient's emergency dictates which hospital we will need go to. For example, serious trauma patients will almost always be transported to UW Hospital because they are the only Level 1 Trauma Center in the area. A woman in labor would be brought to Meriter or St. Mary's since UW doesn't normally treat OB/Gyn patients. If a patient is very sick and needs to be seen and treated by a doctor within minutes, we may take them to St. Mary's Sun Prairie Emergency Center as it is the closest hospital where they can receive stabilizing care before continuing on to their hospital of choice.
A Sun Prairie Police Officer (within the City) or a Dane County Sherriff's Deputy might respond before or with the ambulance crew. The Sun Prairie Fire Department might respond to a serious car accident, fire, or carbon monoxide emergency. These additional resources are sent when the information that is provided to the 911 dispatcher suggests that they might be helpful, or necessary in an emergency.
When you call 911 simply let the dispatcher know of the special circumstances. Also, completing a File of Life card and keeping it on your refrigerator for each family member can help once the ambulance arrives. For advanced concerns, consider alerting Sun Prairie EMS in advance if your child or loved one lives in the area and has specific needs that will influence how the paramedics care for them. There are several options available for us to ensure that we are aware of you special needs and can respond to it appropriately.
Lights and sirens are only used in emergent situations, which means that the situation is time sensitive, and the transportation needs to be faster than normal. We always try to get to the patient and then to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible, but it's not always necessary to use the lights and sirens. Whether to use our lights and sirens is decided on a case by case basis based on the information that we have available to us either on our way to a call, or after we meet our patient.