In an emergency, paramedics in Nikiski might have 30 minutes with a patient before dropping them at the hospital. They likely won’t meet again until that patient has another emergency.
The Nikiski Fire Department is working to change the nature of that relationship. It’s using a grant from the state to build its capacity to address people’s medical needs at home and reach them before — and long after — they’re in crisis.
The immediate goal of Niksiki’s program is to reduce the COVID-19 patient surge at Central Peninsula Hospital. But paramedics hope the program could also be a way to build trust with patients in the service area.
Senior Emergency Medical Services Captain Harrison Deveer said the health care model, called mobile integrated health, is used all over the country.