UA and the city of Tuscaloosa team up to provide better healthcare

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - The City of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama are teaming up to bring you better medical care.

The ACTION program, an acronym which stands for Appropriate Care and Treatment In Our Neighborhoods, will allow Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue to use some University of Alabama resources when responding to low emergency 911 calls.

"We can reduce the amount of people transported to the emergency department. We can also provide treatment in the house for those patients that won't have to leave their house," Chief Alan Martin with Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue explained.

Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue and the University's Medical Center will place nurse practitioners and physician assistants and others in these trucks, also called alternative response vehicles, to respond to low emergency 911 calls at the callers home.

"This is not a fix all. But as you hear every day, emergency departments are being overwhelmed with patients that really probably could be treated with an alternate model of medical care. Every Medical response to a 911 doesn't mean when fire rescue responds, they're taking someone to hospital or ER," according to Dr. Elwin Crawford, Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Services Medical Director added.

UA will also provide personnel if the caller has some type of mental health issue.

They believe that will save time and money at hospitals and ER's "We're actually meeting patients on the scene, triaging those calls to the appropriate level and taking care of them and that allows us to better utilize the resources of the city and better utilize the resources of the healthcare system," Dr. Rodney Friend with the UA Medical Center went on to say.

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