Savvik Stories: Reedsburg Area Ambulance Service

Joshua Kowalke knows the importance of saving time. As Ambulance Director for Reedsburg Area Ambulance Service in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Kowalke has multiple responsibilities on his shoulders at any given moment.

“I’ve got three ambulances out right now, so if my pager goes off, we’re going to have to reconvene at another time!” laughed Kowalke, who has over 20 years of EMT experience as well as 10 years as a sheriff’s deputy.

“I handle all the high-level admin—hiring, firing, budgeting and payroll, scheduling, all of that—but I also still run ambulance calls and take shifts. I spent four hours this morning out doing coronavirus testing, which is being done by the ambulance services in our county.”

Given his experience on both sides of ambulance services, Kowalke is especially aware that saved time and money could ultimately equal saved lives. That’s why a Savvik membership made sense for Reedsburg Area Ambulance Service.

“Over the years, [Savvik] has just added and added in terms of member benefits,” Kowalke said. “Now we have a lot of things we buy through Savvik. We price out ambulances through them; we do a ton of purchasing through those contracts. It’s easy to set up, easy to work with. I certainly appreciate what Savvik is doing to save us money.”

Kowalke praised Savvik’s ability to find members the best possible price on important supplies no matter what, even if it means head-to-head comparisons between Savvik providers.

“I have a captain doing purchasing, and we research a lot. There are some supplies that we use a lot of, and he did a comparison between our current supplier, who is a Savvik partner, and a different Savvik partner. From the estimate alone, we’d save $8,000 just by switching to that second provider,” Kowalke said. “That’s a significant savings.”

While Kowalke says he considers Savvik’s money-saving capabilities the #1 benefit of his membership, he also highlighted the peace of mind that comes with sourcing from Savvik’s reliable providers.
As Kowalke and his team continue their work on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, product availability has become especially important. Kowalke said Savvik’s contracts and partnerships have come through for his organization in a vital way, which saves him the time of sourcing additional equipment from other providers.

“I’ve had the opportunity to talk with other ambulance directors throughout the region, and they often tell me about the number of products they’re not able to get from their suppliers. It’s become a major PPE issue for others, but we really don’t have that problem,” Kowalke said. “Even through coronavirus, the companies Savvik has partnered with are still getting us the things we need.”

“It’s a good feeling, and it’s keeping our people safe.”

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