New program ensures frequent 911 callers get appropriate care

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By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Fusco

Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue is making strides in ensuring the city’s residents who are most in need of assistance get it.

Over the past few years, TFR has hired several social workers who can assist when residents call in with their emergencies. Currently, it’s the only fire department in the state with social workers on staff.

The program’s purpose is providing case management services for residents who have unmet medical, mental health or social needs. These residents are frequent 911 callers, said TFR EMS Prevention Coordinator Brianna Jones, and most of their calls are not related to an emergency.

“EMS prevention is a division within Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue that aims to improve community health and reduce overuse of the 911 system,” Jones said. “This is such an innovative idea and I think it’s amazing that the firefighters in our city decided that this is something that we really needed.”

The EMS Prevention Program also serves as a training ground for social work students at the University of Alabama.

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