Small local fire department expanding their resources to help re - Tucson News Now

Small local fire department expanding their resources to help residents

The Green Valley Fire Department just received a big honor from the state for it's services and training.  Now it's taking that work a step further with a special specialized service for the people who call it most.

Green Valley resident, Lilly Johnson, deals with several medical issues and has had to 911 on more than one occasion. So she was more than pleased when she received a follow up call from the Green Valley Fire Department to check in on her condition. "I couldn't believe that they care and called me the next morning, says Lily.

The small local fire department just started following up on 911 calls this year. Captain Dan Modrzejewski with the Green Valley Fire District says, "We saw a gap in patient care for our citizens. We would respond and take them to the hospital, but never follow up or figure out what happened to that person or the other needs they needed." 

So every day they follow up on every 911 call made to see if the person needs further assistance.  Green Valley Fire has helped some of their residents get help from the food bank to financial counseling.

This is the first big step in what is called community paramedicine.  Cpt.Modrzejewski hopes one day they could send a paramedic to someone's home for non emergency related situations. He says it could cut down on healthcare costs for people and also cut down on operating costs for the fire department.

Community paramedicine is not recognized as an official program by the state because no curriculum has been defined for it. Many local firefighters say community paramedic program could help close the gap by expanding the role of EMS personnel . Through a standardized curriculum, accredited colleges and universities would train first responders at the appropriate level to serve communities more broadly in specific areas.

After seeing the benefits, Green Valley Fire hopes that within a year the state will recognize community paramedicine so that they could seek funding through special grants and implement an official program.

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