RACINE -- In 2019, roughly 75% of the 911 calls received by the Racine Fire Department were for medical emergencies, and firefighters expect that to grow. An emerging program within the department is aimed at combating this problem at home.
FOX6 News on Sunday, Jan. 5 caught up with Braiden Moriarity, Racine firefighter/paramedic, as he made home medical visits.
"The 911 side of things is vastly different than the MIH," said Moriarity.
Moriarity is a member of the Racine Fire Department's "Mobile Integrated Health" division, the team tasked with performing check-ups on people with heart problems who have been identified by area hospitals as in need of extra care at home.
"We're able to go into people's homes and really teach them how to take care of themselves after that hospital visit," said Brian Wolf with the Racine Fire Department.
Firefighters said the program was born out of necessity.
"We've had over 850 MIH calls," said Wolf. "There's a great need for this. I think this is the future of fire departments, and emergency medical systems, being able to help people in their home after the call is over."
Firefighters noted success in the program's first year.
"We have a couple people going through school right now to get that certification, and I'm assuming we're going to be sending quite a few more as the program expands," said Moriarity.
Within less than an hour on Sunday, Moriarity was done with his home visit which was aimed at preventing tomorrow's trip to the hospital.
It's important to note, these home visits don't prevent firefighters or paramedics from responding to other emergencies. Officials said first responders will never be pulled off a 911 call to take part in this program. If need be, the home visits will be rescheduled.