As Anne Arundel’s Safe Stations continues to grow, county public safety officials are looking at issues regarding transporting people to addiction treatment centers.
Fire Department and mental health officials stress the program’s protocol — which has firefighters and police helping those looking for treatment who walk into a county firehouse or police department — has not affected emergency response time.
Capt. Russ Davies, spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, said that means that if a crew has been assigned a Safe Stations patient and another emergency call comes in while they’re waiting for crisis responders, it could be forwarded to another station.
So while county fire Chief Allen Graves stressed firehouses still have the discretion to respond to larger emergency calls if they deem it more important, he said he’s discussed possibly driving the patients to wherever the closest crisis responder is so to cut down on the time they spend at the station.
“I think that there’s that discussion of ‘Is it using resources?’” Graves said, but added he was “not aware of anywhere it’s caused any issues.”
According to statistics from the county Department of Health, the county has seen at least 117 Safe Station assessments per month since May.