Fire Department Introduces New Community Paramedics Program
AFD Community Paramedics (left to right) Stephen Lucero, Michael DeWindt, David Wills, Armando Baldizan and Patrick Corder
The Alameda Fire Department (AFD) recently implemented its Community Paramedic Program; a two-year state- and county-funded pilot project aimed at addressing gaps that currently exist in the healthcare system. Alameda was selected as one of 13 agencies within the state to study the effectiveness of community paramedicine, a new and evolving model of community-based healthcare in which paramedics function outside their customary emergency response and transport roles.
The program focuses on providing follow-up care for individuals with chronic illnesses who have recently been discharged from hospitals. Additionally, community paramedics will also connect at-risk patients to appropriate resources.
The program staff is comprised of five experienced AFD firefighter-paramedics. Alameda is the only full-service, fire department-based, emergency medical services transport agency participating in the project.
Alameda Fire Chief Doug Long said, "I am proud of our members for stepping up to participate in the new Community Paramedic Pilot Program, said AFD Interim Chief Doug Long. "The additional training they have received will provide an increased level of service to the residents of Alameda."