University of Alabama and Tuscaloosa team up to provide medical care with pilot program

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama are teaming up to begin a new paramedicine program. 

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Alan Martin says the pilot program is geared towards treating patients in their homes instead of sending an ambulance. If a resident needs medical attention and calls 911, a nurse practitioner and a physician assistant will ride with the fire departments crews to the call.

“This is just a continuation of what we do every day with 911,” Martin said. “The patients that call 911 that we respond to, the nurse practitioner and the physician assistant will be assigned to one of alternate response units and they will respond like they do on every other call.”

Chief Martin says this new program would save money and would eliminate the need for patients taken to the emergency room by ambulance. 

“This pilot program will provide treatment for patients who call 911 on low-level emergencies such as a nosebleed, stomach ache or for the flu,” Martin said.

The Fire Department is working with the UA College of Community Health Sciences.  It is being modeled on a similar program in Arizona.

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