Fla. county looking to use nurses to help with 911 call volume

The Pinellas County dispatch center is considering patching minor emergency calls to nurse practitioners

By EMS1 Staff

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida county is considering alleviating the high 911 call volume by utilizing nurses for minor emergency calls.

ABC Action News reported that Pinellas County may soon start patching non-emergency calls to skilled nurse practitioners to decrease the strain of 790,000 calls per year on dispatchers.

Officials said that now instead of only dispatching calls to fire, EMS or police, dispatchers could use nurses as another option.

“My cat is in a tree, I lost my child, I have a rash on my arm. We get a wide range of calls. Even if these nurses can take 500 or a couple thousand calls off of our hands, that could really help us,” Pinellas County public safety director Jim Forgarty said.

Forgarty said the county eventually plans to contract with a company to provide the service.

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