The Monroe Fire Department will be initiating a trial program for Community Paramedicine this month. Community Paramedicine was signed in to law by the Governor on June 30th of 2015, and was activated on October 1st. This was a change in the scope of practice for Ohio EMT’s and Paramedics that will allow them to function in non-emergency roles in the communities they serve. By definition, Community Paramedicine is a new and evolving model of community-based health care in which Paramedics and EMT’s function outside their customary emergency response and transport roles in ways that facilitate more appropriate use of emergency care resources and/or enhance access to primary care for medically underserved populations. CP programs typically are designed to address specific local problems and to take advantage of locally developed linkages and collaborations between and among emergency medical services and other health care and social service providers. The Monroe program was developed through a partnership with the Mount Pleasant Retirement Community and will address issues involving our elderly residents. Specified target groups have been established and data will be gathered to determine how we can better serve our elderly community. The Community Paramedicine trial is one of several safety initiatives being developed in the City of Monroe. In addition to the CP program, the City has committed to having 100% of its staff members trained in CPR & First Aid, providing AED’s in all public buildings, and expanding our resident safety training programs with CPR Blitz Programs, additional Smoke Detector partnership programs, and Neighborhood Safety Blitz Projects. The Fire Department will also be heading an accreditation project through the Safe Communities Coalition of the National Safety Council. Our goal is simple; make Monroe the safest place possible to live, work, and play.

FAQ

Is Community Paramedicine mandatory for Fire Departments in the State of Ohio? No, Community Paramedicine is a voluntary program that each individual department can evaluate and determine its feasibility in their communities.

Why participate in Community Paramedicine? Community Paramedicine allows for an expanded service to an underserved population. The program does not replace services provided by a health care provider, but fills gaps in coverage before and after service is provided. An example would be an elderly resident whom has a serious health condition, and is transported frequently. The Community Paramedics would schedule visits to evaluate and assist the resident, and reduce the likelihood of a 911 transport through a proactive care plan. These visits will allow our staff to evaluate additional needs and “plug” the resident into ancillary service providers such as Council on Aging. This will also allow the Fire Department to provide a home fire safety evaluation to participants during the visit.

Will there be a fee for Community Paramedic visits? No, the service provided will be part of the normal services provided by the Fire Department.

How is this program funded? Monroe’s program will be operated from within our current budget, with our current duty staff. Long-term plans are to develop partnerships with our hospital systems and insurance carriers, to develop long-term project sustainability.

How do I enroll in this program? The current project is in a “trial” phase. Over the next 6 months we will develop a project matrix to establish best practice, time tables, illness criteria, and general treatment data. Following the review of the acquired data, we will determine how best to serve our community as a whole, as well as how we will qualify residents for the program.

Will the Community Paramedic Program provide everything that is needed for participants? This is a complicated question. Once a criteria has been established for participants, (which is who meets the program guidelines) the resident will be evaluated to determine their specific needs. Some of these needs will be met by introducing the resident to County and private programs that provide food, cleaning services, and transportation services as well as other coordinated assistance. Other services that can be met by the Fire Department staff will be provided directly.