The Colorado Springs (CO) fire chief plans to turn several fire stations on the city’s southeast side into basic preventive care clinics, according to a news report.
The Gazette reports that Chief Rich Brown wants residents to be able to visit designated stations for non-emergency check ups, such as getting an EKG done, instead of calling 911 for basic problems (http://bit.ly/JQauIj).
Deputy Fire Chief Tommy Smith, who attended a town hall meeting at which Brown expounded on his vision, described the clinic program as a way for people to have access to basic health care, a step to take before visiting the doctor or emergency room. Nearly 70 percent of the 56,000 calls the department handles every year are medical calls, according to Smith. Smith sees the clinic concept as a further evolution of the fire department’s current role in providing health care to the community.
Details of the station clinic program are being worked out, Smith said. Although firefighters are always available for blood pressure checks at a station, the clinics will bring in health-care volunteers to perform basic procedures and discuss general health with walk-in patients. Firefighters will assist when not on 911 calls, and Smith said the clinic will not detract from 911 calls or response times.
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