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AFD Implements New Programs to Improve Patient Care & Reduce Non-Emergency 9-1-1 Calls

Fire Chief Paul Dow announced two new programs that AFD will launch in the coming months that will improve medical service to Albuquerque citizens and reduce non-emergency 9-1-1 calls. The Community EMS Care and Basic Life Support Rescue programs will help to reduce non-emergency calls so EMT's and Paramedics can respond to life-threatening calls quicker so the patient has an increased chance of survival.

The Albuquerque Fire Department (AFD) announced two new ground-breaking programs on February 27, 2018 that will reduce non-emergency calls and improve patient care. AFD plans to implement Community EMS Care, which will allow paramedics and emergency medical technicians to respond more efficiently to the high volume of calls for routine healthcare services. Additionally, Basic Life Support rescue will send a rescue unit into service with two EMTs to respond to non-life-threatening calls on Central corridor. 

“Integrating these two programs into our method of care increases our efficiency and ensures that Advanced Life Support Rescues are available to respond to major trauma injuries and life threatening calls such as heart attacks and strokes,” stated Chief Paul Dow.

AFD is committed to serving the citizens of Albuquerque every day but unfortunately joins other public safety agencies across the U.S. in being strained for resources. In 2017, the Albuquerque Fire Department responded to nearly 107,000 EMS and fire calls making AFD the 24th busiest Fire Department in the United States. AFD responds to the most calls per firefighter of any fire department in the nation with 87% of the calls being medical related.

Community EMS Care

Community-based EMS is a proactive approach to meet the needs of the community we serve. The program allows paramedics and EMTs to operate in expanded roles to respond to the high call volume for routine services. These populations tend to lack access to primary care and use 9-1-1 services for non-urgent healthcare. This program allows us to address these populations through alternative channels using prevention, education, and access to primary care physicians.

Community EMS providers will provide:

  • Primary care
  • Post-discharge follow-up care
  • Integration with local public health agencies
  • Education and health prevention programs

Our goal is to reduce non-urgent:

  • 9-1-1 calls
  • Ambulance transports 
  • Emergency room visits

 Basic Life Support Rescue

This program includes adding a rescue unit with two EMTs to respond to non-life threatening calls along the Central corridor. The Central Ave corridor from I-25 to Juan Tabo has the highest call volume in the City. The majority of the calls are for Basic Life Support or non-life threatening. The BLS team would have transportation capability for patients requiring further medical treatment.

“Our call volume is only projected to increase in the years to come, and we must start seeking alternative response configurations to keep up with the demand. It is vital that the men and women of the Albuquerque Fire Department have the resources necessary to continue to provide the level of quality EMS care for which they are rightfully known ,” added Chief Dow.