Friday, May 4th, 2012 9:05 am
By Ryan Maye Handy
For The Gazette
Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown plans to turn several southeast fire stations into basic preventive-care clinics where residents can stop by for such things as blood pressure and blood sugar checks.
A two-hour blood pressure check clinic at three fire stations on Tuesday was just the beginning of Brown’s vision, he said. In the coming weeks, he hopes that people can go to fire stations for non-emergency check ups, such as getting an EKG done, instead of calling 911 for basic problems.
“We are going 100 miles an hour towards that end,” Brown said.
Brown briefly discussed the clinic intiative at Mayor Steve Bach’s second Town Hall meeting Wednesday night at the Southeast YMCA off Jet Wing Drive. About 100 residents listened while Bach discussed his plans for improving housing quality, parks, and job opportunities in that part of town.
Deputy Fire Chief Tommy Smith, who also attended the meeting, described the clinic program as a way for people to have access to basic health care, a step to take before visiting the doctor or emergency room. Nearly 70 percent of the 56,000 calls the department handles every year are medical calls, Smith explained.
“You hear a lot of talk in the news about health care,” he said. “The fire department is a huge part of health care. We’re the only ones that still make house calls.”
Details of the station clinic program are being ironed out, Smith said. Although firefighters are always available for blood pressure checks at a station, the clinics will bring in health-care volunteers to perform basic procedures and discuss general health with walk-ins. Community Health Partners will help staff the clinics, Smith said, and firefigthers will help out when not responding to 911 calls.
Read the full article on The Gazette.