Every call to 911 is a call for help. But not every call is a medical emergency.
South County Fire’s Community Resource Paramedic Program links patients with the community services you need. Our goal is to help people stay safely at home - and out of the emergency room.
Patients who have called 911 two times in 24 hours or three times over 30 days are automatically referred to the Community Resource Paramedic Program.
Firefighters often call for a community paramedic to assist them on a scene, or may refer a patient for follow-up services. Hospital and social service staff may also make referrals.
Family members of patients we’ve seen on 911 calls can also contact our program to ask for assistance. Here's a flyer about our Community Paramedic program (PDF).
Community Paramedic Services
The community paramedic follows up with at-risk patients through a telephone call or a home visit to find out what’s behind multiple calls to 911. In addition to a medical assessment, there is a home safety survey to prevent falls and other risks.
Types of assistance:
- Care plan followup – we help patients understand doctor’s orders
- Detox programs – for alcoholics or addicts
- Housing referrals – for people at risk of homelessness
- Transportation for care
- Home hazards – identifying and reducing health risks
- In-home care referrals
All our services are free to residents of South County Fire.
South County Fire has two specially-trained emergency medical service (EMS) providers and a captain dedicated to the Community Resource Paramedic program.
A mental health counselor and a peer counselor from Compass Health assist in responding to behavioral and social service needs. We also have Veterans In Prevention staff who help with home safety assessments and follow-up.
South County Fire partners with Compass Health and more than 50 social service agencies that can provide patients with assistance that is often less costly and more effective than medical services in meeting their true needs.
The program was initially funded by a grant from Verdant Health Commission. It began in 2014 as the first program of its kind in Washington state.
The goal of our community paramedic program is to reduce 911 calls and emergency room visits. Data shows calls to 911 by patients in our program decrease by 50 percent. We have many success stories where services were provided to meet the clients needs that cannot be provided in the ER.
We also hear many heartwarming stories from families and patients. We’d love to hear your story (email).