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Albuquerque Fire Rescue Deploys H.E.A.R.T

Initiative is part of Mayor Tim Keller’s efforts to make the public safer

August 8, 2018

Today Albuquerque Fire Rescue announced that the Home Engagement and Alternative Response Team (H.E.A.R.T) started working with patients who have a history of repeat utilization of 911 EMS. The team evaluates the client’s situation and gathers information to establish a plan of action to navigate the appropriate system for the client including healthcare, financial assistance and housing.

“When many folks think about the fire department, they only think about putting out fires. While our department does step up putting their lives on the line fighting fires every day, we do so much more than that,” stated Chief Paul Dow.  “Last year, the department ran over 106,000 calls, of which over 93,000 were medical calls. This program helps us keep the public safe.”

The initial goals of the H.E.A.R.T program are to identify repeat patients and connect them to appropriate medical and social services to help reduce the reliance on 911. They will also educate the public on fall prevention, and harm reduction related to opiate overdoses.

H.E.A.R.T team members just completed their 100-hour Community Health Worker training, provided free of charge by the NM Department of Health.

Earlier this year, the department changed its name to Albuquerque Fire and Rescue to better reflect the work the first responders are doing in our community, including the H.E.A.R.T program.