GREEN, Ohio — The Green Fire Department has launched a new Community Paramedicine program designed to help seniors and others manage their health after acute issues such as a heart attack, stroke or fall.
"There hasn't been a program in Northeast Ohio that I'm aware of," said Firemedic Brian Lloyd who runs the program. "Down in Columbus it's popular and it's global."
The service is free to Green residents who are identified from previous calls for emergency services, upon release from hospitals or rehabilitation facilities, or through referrals from other social services agencies.
During his visits, Lloyd can check blood sugar levels, blood pressure and heart rates. He also makes sure the residents understand their medication needs and walks with them for exercise.
"It's the personal touch," he said. "911 gives great service. The hospital gives great care. The rehab centers do. And then they go home and a lot of people feel overwhelmed."
Rebecca Lowe and her husband are among 10 Green residents who started receiving the extra care shortly after the new program started.
Lowe is a two-time cancer survivor, uses oxygen and is grateful for the visits.
"That's such a wonderful relief and help," Lowe said. "He help us so much."
Lloyd said the proactive approach helps people take control of their health situation and he believes paramedicine will eventually become the norm in other local cities.
"If we can prevent a second emergency from happening again, a reoccurrence like another fall, we want to be there to prevent that."
Residents who would like to request an assessment for themselves or a family member should contact the Green Fire Division at 330-896-6610.