Calif. fire dept. adds nurse practitioners to EMS crews
A nurse practitioner will accompany Beverly Hills Fire Department firefighter-paramedics as they respond to 911 calls
By EMS1 Staff
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A fire department is adding nurse practitioners to their EMS crews who respond to 911 calls.
ABC7 reported that nurse practitioners will now accompany Beverly Hills Fire Department firefighter-paramedics in the Nurse Practitioner Unit (NP1) as they respond to calls.
The one-year program is an effort to decrease trips to the emergency room.
"She has the ability to treat those patients that we can't do as paramedics," firefighter-paramedic Scott Marquez said.
The first responders will assess the patient when arriving at the scene, and if they determine an ER trip is not necessary, they will bring in the nurse practitioner to treat the patient using medical necessities that are onboard the NP1 unit.
The city of Beverly Hills is funding the program, and Mayor Julian Gold hopes to see positive results.
"If you take a look at any of the local hospitals you'll know their emergency rooms are filled with truly non-critical patients, but nonetheless people who need care," he said.
Nurse practitioner Teri Simmons said the program will come in handy for times such as flu season.
"[Flu season] means there's going to be a lot of patients waiting for hours in the emergency room to get care,” she said. “This way when we are called out to the home, we'll be able to do a lot of the similar testing and assessments they would receive there."
The nurse practitioners will also make follow-up visits to the patients in an effort to decrease repeat 911 calls.