Portland (OR) Fire & Rescue Tests New EMS Response for Low-Risk Patients

Portland (OR) Fire Department Photo

Portland Fire & Rescue is teaming up with CareOregon in an attempt to improve medical care and reduce the burden on the emergency 911 by providing a new response plan for low-risk medical calls, according to a report published by The Oregonian/Oregon Live.

According to the report, the Portland City Council accepted a $2.5 million grant from CareOregon to create a smaller pilot team of two fire medics that would respond to calls deemed low risk to help reduce the burden of repeat patients who need medical care, but do not need transport to the hospital.

Under the current plan, a fire engine, ladder truck and ambulance respond to all medical calls, the report said, adding the new nine-month trial program will begin on Nov. 15 with two fire medics working from noon to 2 am daily. A roving critical care nurse for each team hired by Portland would be available if needed to help the medics at any location, according to the report.

The newspaper/web site said Portland Fire and CareOregon will evaluate the program at the end of nine months with the hope of extending it throughout the city, if successful.

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