In Bid To Reduce ER Trips, Fire Department Introduces New Program

Fire Department Chief Gregory Dean had proposed a new program that the fire department wants to be able to bring to the ward. Photo by Smallbones WikiCommons

By Tiffany Hunt, Howard University News Service

The issue of violent crime and its impact on the Ward 4A community which consists of neighborhoods such as was highlighted at the latest Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting. The meeting also discussed the new fire department strategy that’s supposedly going to help out medical patients.

Captain Franklin Porter, who serves the fourth district stated that in the previous month of January, the ward only “had eight violent crimes,” compared to in December, where they “had nine violent crimes.” These eight violent crimes consisted of one sexual assault and seven robberies. There was absolutely no homicides and no assault with a dangerous weapon. One recurring issue that keeps happening in the ward is that the Mayfair Liquor store on Georgia Avenue has been robbed in the past at least fives times, according to Commissioner Stephen A. Whatley.  Whatley also informed Captain Porter that the owners “are complaining about the lack of police support,” and feel that the people who have robbed them in the past are continuing to stalk and harass them.

Overall though crime reduction has been down by 26% according to police records, in this particular ward, which was at the time apparently the best overall in DC, stated by Captain Porter. Also at the meeting went on Fire Department Chief Gregory Dean had proposed a new program that the fire department wants to be able to bring to the ward. This new program, is to allow people who need medical attention urgently, mainly elderly people to call the fire station who will personally come to your house, and bring a nurse to properly examine you. The nurse after examining you will determine whether or not you need to be sent to the emergency room or just a clinic. This plan is to reduce overcrowding in hospitals and also lower the chance of a person in need of urgent medical attention to call an ambulance, and have to face expensive ambulance fees later, especially if they don’t have insurance. If the particular ill person needs medical attention and can’t afford transportation the fire department will call you a taxi, and your taxi ride will be paid by the fire department chief to be transported. Chief Dean says that the goal of this strategy is the “new medical response strategy by the fire department allows for faster transfers and treatment at no extra cost for certain patients.”