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Marshfield Medical Center- Park Falls upgrades their EMS radio tower


The radio tower at the Marshfield Medical Center Park Falls location has recently been upgraded after the old tower, which was over 60 years old, started having structural issues.

The Park Falls location of the Marshfield Medical Center now has a new radio tower.

At 150 feet tall, its signal spans 1,600 square miles.

It’ll be able to reach EMS, police, and fire departments in 19 different communities.

Kirk Dunlap is the Senior Project Manager for the Marshfield Clinic Health System.

He described the tower as a sort of two way radio that allows for communication between providers in the field and those in emergency departments, which is critical for rural communities.

“These ambulances are quite aways from other hospitals,” he noted.

Marshfield Medical Center at Park Falls is the most remote Marshfield location in the system, so strong communication is incredibly important.

The new tower has a special antenna that scans dispatch communication traffic to pass on advance notice of issues to the emergency department team.

“That's really important to help them get prepared and provide the greatest, the best possible service to these rural patients that are coming sometimes from quite a ways away,” said Dunlap.

The Marshfield Medical Center- Park Falls Foundation funded the $190,000 cost.

“Here we have the committee, the members of this rural community understanding the importance of this, this level of communication coming forward and providing significant dollars to put in the new tower. So it is a case of where the focus by the health system to have a hospital in Park Falls and to understand its importance to the rural community is then in turn reflected by that community saying ‘yeah, we'll join with you and provide this important service,’” said Dunlap.

He said the collaboration has been very rewarding and called the tower a gift from the community to the community.

Hannah Davis-Reid is a WXPR Reporter.
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