Plano Considers Paramedic ‘House Call’ Program

ambulance 76138630 Plano Considers Paramedic House Call Program

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Emergency officials in Plano are starting to rethink the way they operate their 911 services.

Currently, 911 dispatchers in Plano handle some 500 calls per day, but more and more of them are turning out to be non-emergencies.

Plano Fire Chief Hugo Esparza believes the answer could be a special team of paramedics who make house calls to 911 callers with minor medical issues — rather than taking those patients to the emergency room.

“It’s almost a throwback to the days of old, where the doctor would come out to you, rather than you going to the hospital,” explained Esparza.

According to Esparza, elderly citizens are making the majority of minor 911 calls.

“Because of their age or their condition, or what have you, they’re calling us and a lot of times because they’re not properly using their medication, or don’t know how to use it, or haven’t filled their prescription… whatever the issue is,” he said.

With the population shifting in America, Esparza said he doesn’t see the problem with 911 calls getting better.

“The Baby Boomers are now reaching senior age, so there’s gonna be more of a demand on EMS,” he said.

The City of Plano is hoping to get a million dollar federal grant to try out the program, that isn’t unique.

“There are other communities that are doing it, throughout the United States,” said Esparza. “We’re kinda looking at those models and trying to customize our program for our community.”

And tailoring the program for Plano means very specific things to the chief. “For a program like this, I want my best, experienced paramedics doing this.”

  • YRofTexas

    Can’t wait to see how this program comes about!

  • its me

    Excellent idea.

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  • julie

    A very good idea.

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  • D. Watkins

    Since Lawyers were probably resonsible for doctors no longer making house calls (there was not enough equipment to make many CYA TESTS to help provide a defense against malpractice lawsuits available) how long will it be before a person TREATED BUT NOT TRANSPORTED will win a multi-million dollar lawsuit for a misdiagnoses or treatment. Great idea if lawsuits do not shut it down and the only answer will to again transport every 9-1-1 caller to the hospital for extensive and costlly (to Medicare and Medicaid) CYA tests.

  • NiteNurse

    I think this is great because so many calls are for minor things that a EMT or paramedica can treat on the scene. There’s always the option of callling for an ambulance if necessary.

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