GJFD’s new ‘CARES’ program works to address community needs

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - As Grand Junction's population grows, so does its need for emergency services. The Grand Junction Fire Department putting new programs into place to make sure folks are getting the help they need.

Within the past year, GJFD has worked with a CMU social work intern to create the Community Assistance Referral and Education, or CARES, program. It addresses the needs of patients that frequently use EMS and connects them with other resources in the community.

"For somebody who doesn't need an ambulance ride, that can be a really expensive solution, a lot of times, to a problem that could've been prevented. So if it's just having a safer home or setting an alarm on your phone—learning how to set an alarm on your phone-- for medications… We want to provide those interventions as early as possible for our community," says Ellis Thompson-Ellis with GJFD.

So far, there has been an 80% reduction in EMS calls from those patients after the GJFD CARES intervention.