Seminole County recently launched a Community Paramedicine Program, which allows residents to call county paramedics for non-life threatening emergency situations, reducing their reliance on 911 services.
The free program, offered by the Seminole County Fire Department, uses “specially trained prehospital professionals” who can handle calls that deal with myriad situations, including falls, wound care, substance abuse issues, and diabetes care.
According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel earlier this month, more than 60 residents now use the six-month-old program.
The report added that the service can help to “avoid being unnecessarily transported via an ambulance to a hospital emergency room”. The Sentinel reported that the service, funded by the county’s federally-funded COVID-19 relief funds, saves the county money because it must send a fire engine, rescue truck and about a half dozen first responders to 911 calls.
According to the county’s website, the program is designed for:
High Emergency Room (ER) System Utilizers — designed to help patients who are high utilizers of the 911 system/ERs. The program provides education and connects the patient with resources available in the community.
Chronic Mental Health Issues or Problems with Substance Abuse — identifying patients who would be better served outside an emergency-room setting and redirecting those individuals to the appropriate community resources and helping with proper medication management.
Diabetic Patients — providing nutritional and disease management education to diabetic patients to prevent unnecessary Emergency Department and EMS utilization.
Frequent Falls — helping mitigate fall risks by performing in-home safety assessments and fall prevention education.
Congestive Heart Failure and Chronic Respiratory Conditions — helping manage medication compliance, nutrition, and education for patients who are diagnosed with congestive heart failure or other chronic respiratory conditions.
To use the service, dial 407-665-5144 or visit SCFD_CP@seminolecountyfl.gov.