Austin expands Paramedic Practitioner Program

The team treats low-acuity patients, reducing volume for ATCEMS and emergency departments


By Leila Merrill

AUSTIN — Austin’s Paramedic Practitioner Program will expand this year, KVUE reported Monday.

The program currently is a two-person team that treats unhoused people and other vulnerable populations. The most common issues treated include abscesses, burns, chronic wounds, illnesses, worsening existing conditions and minor injuries, according to the city.

Paramedic Practitioner Travis Baker (left) and Austin-Travis County EMS Paramedic Mike Leibin checked on Donna Chapman after she called 911 for breathing issues. Baker treated Chapman on the spot, avoiding a trip to the hospital.
Paramedic Practitioner Travis Baker (left) and Austin-Travis County EMS Paramedic Mike Leibin checked on Donna Chapman after she called 911 for breathing issues. Baker treated Chapman on the spot, avoiding a trip to the hospital. (Photo/Ana Ramirez, Austin American-Statesman)

The PPP treats 100-200 patients each month. It also reduces the workload for Austin-Travis County EMS and aims to ease emergency department congestion.

"We have a large population living in Austin that knows of no other way to access medical care than to contact 911," said Chris Brown, an EMS physician assistant for the PPP.  “Oftentimes, a paramedic practitioner is the only provider they have seen in a long period of time and we are fortunate enough to be able to take time to listen to their complaints and medical issues and assist in their care."

The city council approved of the program's creation last year.

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