D.C.’s First Responders Praise New Program to Improve 911 Services

Categories: Washington, D.C.

AFGE EMS Local 3721 President Aretha Lyles applauds Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie’s introduction of a bill that would reduce non-emergency 911 calls and hospital readmission.

The bill, the Community Health Emergency Link Paramedicine (C-HELP) Pilot Program Act of 2015, would also provide education outreach resources to the community. Similar programs are being implemented in cities comparable in size to D.C., such as, San Diego, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh with great success.

“I want to thank Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and his staff for addressing issues in the Washington, D.C. Fire and EMS Department. We are civilian EMS workers who care deeply about the health and safety of D.C. residents,” said Lyles. “As the representative of the first responders, AFGE Local 3721 strongly recommends implementing the C-HELP legislation introduced by Councilmember McDuffie. We are pleased that the program we brought forward to our elected officials to support the community in improving 911 services is being taken up at this level.”

“With this legislation, I hope to create an innovative approach to community medicine. The program will not compete with other community health care services but is intended to identify and fill gaps in care by working in partnership and collaboration with existing health care providers,” said Councilmember McDuffie.

Lyles said the union believes this pilot program will improve the lives of D.C. residents and the success of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department. Community-based paramedicine techniques are the right solution to address emergency care needs in the District.

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