PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - Plano’s fire department has launched an innovative program that involves paramedics hitting the streets and responding to medical problems at homes before people call 911.
“It’s a new idea for us. We’re used to picking people up when they’re in crisis,” said Plano Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Chris Biggerstaff.
Residents with chronic medical problems who often need to go to the hospital can sign up for the program. A paramedic crew will regularly visit them to make sure they are stable and address any needs they have. It helps reduce the strain on the cities 911 system. And it also offers convenience for those people who are sick and may have difficulty going to and from the hospital.
“I love it. I really do. I can’t imagine not having it because it gives you a lot of peace of mind,” said Plano resident, Mable Pennison, who suffers from heart problems.
The 82-year-old grandmother made six hospital visits already this year. It’s costly for her and hospitals and the city’s 911 resources.
Since the program began this month only four people have signed up but the fire department said there are a lot more people out there who can benefit from it. People like Pennison, who said she plans to beat the odds of 20 percent of heart patients dying within 30 days of leaving the hospital. Lack of in-home monitoring is to blame for the numbers, according to Plano’s fire department.
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