A new pilot program called Health One is in its third week at the Seattle Fire Department to respond to calls that aren’t considered emergencies.
There were 96,000 calls to the 911 center in 2018. About 42 percent of them were considered non-emergency, according to the city of Seattle.
The pilot program provides services to non-emergency calls, and keeps resources free for emergencies that need immediate attention.
The Health 1 Unit includes two firefighters, Roger Webber and Matt Jung, and a case manager Ashley Clayton.
The firefighters are also EMTs who underwent special training in mental health and motivational interviewing, among other training requirements.
The most unique aspect is the addition of a case manager and social worker to the response team.