New mobile team proposed to help patients and reduce firefighter response times in Seattle

  • Source: KIRO 7 Seattle
  • Published: 11/01/2018 12:00 AM

A Seattle City Council member has a new idea for dealing with the thousands of non-emergency calls that Seattle firefighters currently go to every year: a new mobile health response team. Council member Sally Bagshaw has proposed spending $500,000 on a pilot program in downtown Seattle. “The overall system response will really save a ton of money and be a much more humane response,” she said. The Seattle Fire Department has grappled with how best to deal with low-acuity calls, which are non-emergencies often due to chronic illness, mental illness and substance abuse. “Every time that a unit goes out for a low-acuity alarm, that unit is out of service and they can't respond to a fire, a car accident, a cardiac arrest, etcetera,” Jon Ehrenfeld, the Seattle Fire Department’s low-acuity alarm program manager, said. “So it’s a really big concern.”


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