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Toledo Fire & Rescue Department discussing proposed non-emergency transportation program

Under this program, if patients are deemed medically stable on scene, they can then be taken to urgent care, clinic, doctor's office or recovery service.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Fire & Rescue is discussing a proposed non-emergency transportation program that will get patients the care they need while on scene. 

Many times the department has patients who need some of kind of care, but not an ambulance or an emergency room. But they end up in an ambulance or an emergency room anyway, because first responders just aren't sure what to do with them. 

"Not only does that take first responders out of service for that transport but then it takes up a bed at an emergency room or takes a doctor who could be saving someone's life," said Lt. Zakariya Reed, an EMS supervisor with Toledo Fire & Rescue. 

To help alleviate this problem, the department is considering a non-emergency transportation program.

How it works is first responders will do a complete medical assessment on a patient on scene and once they're deemed medically stable, first responders will help arrange transportation for them through dispatch. 

"Our fire dispatcher will arrange it through whatever transport company we decide to go with," Lt. Reed said. "We can take them to an urgent care, clinic or doctor's office. Pharmacy or seriously, just getting them to a shelter for the night or recovery or detox service."

The department has been discussing this program for a while and has the funding, but just started making protocol for it within the last few weeks.

Many details are still being finalized.

Editor's note: An earlier report was that this program would be implemented within the month. WTOL has received clarification from TFRD that this proposed program is still in the planning stages.