Suppose someone falls or gets sick and has no one to call.
There’s a good chance they’ll dial 911, and Longboat Key firefighter/paramedics will respond. In fact, falls are the department’s No. 1 reason for calls, according to Longboat Key Fire Rescue Chief Paul Dezzi.
In some cases, the caller needs someone to talk to more than emergency medical treatment. Often, they could benefit from the services offered by the Longboat Island Chapel’s Aging in Paradise (AIP) Resource Center, such as senior-focused wellness programs, counseling and individual assessment/homecare services.
That’s the idea behind a conversation about collaboration that’s taking place between the Fire Department and AIP.
Dezzi met with AIP Director Cindy Clay and chapel board member Dick Pelton Monday morning to discuss ways to work together. He plans to have a representative attend future AIP meetings.
“I think we, as a fire department/EMS agency, can do well with the agency,” Dezzi said.
The department will include information about AIP when it distributes medical information door-to-door and participate in a March 9 health fair at the chapel.
Dezzi also gave AIP more than 200 File of Life magnets, which allow residents to post vital information, such as medications and emergency contact numbers, on their refrigerators.
Dezzi believes that working with the AIP and promoting its preventative programs could even reduce 911 call volume.
“That person who calls because they’re lonely, or where people are falling down … maybe we can prevent that from happening again,” he said.
Aging in Paradise Resource Center Health Fair
When: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 9
Where: Longboat Island Chapel, 6200 Gulf of Mexico Drive
Contact: 383-6491; aginginparadise.org