TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — In a mission to reduce 911 calls in the Tucson area, the fire department and Tucson Medical Center have teamed up (Tucson Collaborative Community Care or TC-3) to figure out what resources certain residents need, so they don’t have to call 911.
“For those resources, that can be a whole myriad of things. But our main ones are people with aging problems. So mobility issues. Maybe people with chronic medical problems that are are not managed appropriately. Substance abuse or behavioral health issues. We kind of lump them together because a lot of times we have both occurring at the same time,” said Tucson Fire Captain Chris Don.
Before TC-3 launched at the Tucson House, Don tracked 90 days back to see how many 911 calls were coming from the residency.
“There was about 150 calls from the Tucson House alone, which is the highest call volume of any address in the city. But it also has a high population of low income individuals and people with chronic medical needs aging populations and people also with complex issues that kind of intertwined into all those areas,” said Don.
Don says, that’s not unexpected. Low income areas is where the 911 call volume increases, and the Tucson House just happens to be one of the largest buildings in the city with the most people in it.
“So when I look back at those 90 days, the vast majority about 60% of the calls that came in from that address were for different mobility issues. So that could be an injury sustained from a fall,” said Don.
TC-3 was granted $20,000 from the Somos Unos Resiliency Fund. With that money, it has provided meals to hundreds of Tucson House residents and durable medical equipment that can help mobility.
“Things like wheelchairs blockers handrails in the bathtub shower chairs, so that they can sit down while they bathe, anywhere where there's a high probability of fall,” said Don.
In another 90 days, TC-3 will check to see if there was in fact a reduction in 911 calls.
“We might never get to zero but the closer we can get to zero, the better,” said Don.