LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — We’re shining a light on a Lexington program that helps reduce skyrocketing 911 calls. After police and firefighters leave an emergency scene. It’s often up to social workers to do the follow-up work.
The Lexington Fire Department said social workers in the paramedicine program are the unsung heroes in the community who help beyond the initial 911 call.
“I know there’s runs that I made on a ambulance or firetruck that I wish I had someplace to hand that off too. To know that they were going to be a little bit safer. I would often leave and not know,” said firefighter Patrick Branam.
Two social workers and Lexington police have played a huge role in the mental state of not just emergency workers, but people with growing problems in the community.
“And that takes some of our mental health and things that we worry about and decreases those worries and fears a little bit and the anxiety we may have,” said Branam.
A paramedicine program helps level off the growing demand for emergency services. After EMS responds to a call firefighter Branham said after the dust settles. Social workers do their job to provide people with the resources they are in dire need of things such as housing, counseling, or rehab.
“It allows us to have the opportunity, to have a conversation one on one meeting people where they are at, and talking about harm reduction talking about options for services in the community that meets their lifestyle,” said social worker Maria Slone.
“When we have those successes or we get to hear back from a family member, loved one of someone or even the person themselves when they reach back out and tell us how well they are doing that keeps us motivated,” said social worker Mackenzie gross.
The program started in 2017 and the fire department hopes it will be are around for a long time because they know it saves lives and helps those who need it most.