By Michael Leischner, WSAU
MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- State Representative Katrina Shankland of Stevens Point was recently presented with the Legislator of the Year award by the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin for her efforts in expanding access to EMS care.
"Firefighters have always been my heroes. So to receive an award from them really means a lot to me. I think anyone willing to run into a burning building and save another person is just an incredible human being," said Shankland. She says she spent the better part of four years working with the PFFW to craft the bill, which was signed into law late last year.
According to Shankland, it creates a Community Paramedic and EMS program, which will increase healthcare access across the state. The idea came to her through discussions with members of the Stevens Point Fire Department during a ride-along several years ago.
Because of those conversations, she gives a lot of credit for the award to the SPFD. "We did training drills, I did the drills in their gear, I learned more about what they do and I went on some runs with them. Through that training day, that ride along came this idea."
“I’m honored to be named Legislator of the Year by the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, and I appreciate everything they do to advocate for policies that improve the safety of our communities through fire and emergency response services," she added.
Shankland received "Legislator of the Year" honors from both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Wisconsin State Fire Chief's Association in 2017.