Emergency responders making house calls to reduce 911 calls

AARON BOLTON Montana Public Radio

ENNIS — It’s not an emergency, it’s a house call. Madison Valley Medical Center first responder Corey Siders recently knocked on the front door of an Ennis home, just to check on 91-year-old Robert Kensinger.

Kensinger sat with his walker near the kitchen table as Siders took readings for heart rate and blood pressure.

“Sometimes in the morning, it starts to hurt; the whole leg. My left foot is swollen,” Kesninger tells the medic.

Some Montana emergency responders, like those in the Madison Valley, are trying something new. Instead of only responding to 911 calls, they are working with patients in their homes to prevent unnecessary medical emergencies.

Community paramedicine services can range from home check-ins between doctor visits to follow-up care with discharged hospital patients.

According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, there are 10 emergency medical service agencies across the state doing this work as part of a pilot program established by the 2019 Legislature.

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