SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Sacramento-area fire crews and public health officials are launching a new initiative to provide mobile health support to the community.
“We’re essentially bridging the gap between emergency services and the hospital,” Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Scott Perryman told FOX40.
Think of it as an urgent care center on wheels.
“They’ll let us know is it something simple like a strep throat or is it seasonal allergies or is it something more significant,” said Perryman.
The initiative is driven by an effort to screen possible COVID-19 cases among people who may not be able to travel to be tested.
“We have the ability swab and test and get it to the laboratory right then and there,” explained Perryman.
Typical ambulances provide immediate lifesaving care and take people to the hospital, but the teams in these trucks are different.
“We’re able to diagnose. We’re also able to write prescription right then and there,” said Perryman
It’s all part of a new initiative by Metro Fire, Sacramento City Fire, Cosumnes Fire and Sacramento County Public Health.
Each fire department will launch two trucks to provide Mobile Integrated Healthcare in the community.
“People are worried they just want to know, ‘Do I need to go to the emergency department now or can I stay home and take care of this here?’ We’re able to give that advice,” said Perryman.
In addition to a firefighter-paramedic, each team will have a higher-level medical professional.
Those medical professionals can be doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants, like Perryman.
His unit is the first to be up and ready. They responded to their first call at a nursing home Tuesday for a suspected case of COVID-19.
“This was just a person who just had difficulty getting the swab. Department of Public Health was able to reach out to us to give them access to that,” said Perryman.
Representatives from health care and emergency responder fields say the goal is not to provide widespread testing, but to help the public health department access high risk and potentially underserved people.
Metro Fire’s unit is already in operation. Sacramento and Cosumnes fire departments plan to launch next week.
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