VIDEO: San Diego first responders say they are overwhelmed with mental health calls. They’re hoping changes at the state and local level will provide more resources to help alleviate the problem. They received more than 53,000 calls last year and oftentimes, there's not much they could do to help those on the other end. San Diego Fire Chief Colin Stowell said responding to mental health calls has put a strain on his department, it's affecting all first responders.
"You're talking about over 130,000 hours, personnel hours just that year on scene for mental health emergencies,” said Chief Stowell.
That's the equivalent of 36 first responders spending their entire shift every day for a year just responding to mental health calls. Chief Stowell also said it creates overcrowding at local hospitals because there's nowhere else for the patients to go.