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  • Doug Smith

A new Sheriff in town (well, a new Asst. Fire Chief)

The 2022 budget brings an exciting addition to the fire department. Even though the new position is labeled Assistant Chief of Emergency Medical Services and Community Risk Reduction, the actual job duties are more in line with a Renaissance person.

The duties for this new position will focus on EMS coordination and community risk reduction. They will identify and prioritize local risks while acting to reduce their occurrences and/or impact.

The fire department has been tracking data for years hoping to find ways to improve service to the residents. One of the data points collected revolved around medical prevention. The Assistant Chief will be able to use that historical data to make good decisions about preventative services and how the department handles EMS calls.

The fire department’s EMTs have been accustomed to providing check-ins on the most vulnerable residents like the elderly and individuals who most frequently called for EMS. The Assistant Chief will take this prevention to the next level by focusing on high-utilizer follow-ups - residents who call us multiple times for many common emergency needs like falls. We can now get more aggressive and proactive with our fall prevention program. Other communities have seen success from fall prevention programs.

Approximately 80 percent of the city’s emergency call volume is for EMS reasons. These including heart attacks, falls, strokes, and auto accidents among others.

The Assistant Chief will review all the call data and will be able to develop proactive programs and processes to help the community while helping to coordinate the EMS staff.


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