911 services expand in El Cajon

The City of El Cajon announced that El Cajon residents who call 9-1-1 may receive expanded medical services through the El Cajon Community Care Program, a healthcare solution through a partnership between the City and American Medical Response.

The program includes additional medical option by connecting 9-1-1 callers with a suitable level of medical care. The program begins Jan. 31.

Approximately 16,000 medical related 9-1-1 calls are made annually in El Cajon, one-third of which are considered non-emergencies.

In March 2022, the El Cajon City Council set aside $300,000 to fund the El Cajon Community Care program, which is expected to last more than a year. In non-medical emergency conditions, callers will be transferred to a Nurse Navigator to determine an appropriate path for treatment and assist in coordinating access to care.

Nurse Navigators are California state licensed nurses with professional experience in emergency nursing. They are also specially trained to manage, or triage, medical calls. After initially triaging the call nurses can connect callers to clinics in El Cajon and the surrounding area and arrange transportation to and from appointments.
Nurse Navigators can also connect callers directly to telehealth physicians who can provide care online and prescribe medication if necessary. The Nurse Navigator service does not require the caller to have medical insurance.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with AMR to create this program, a first-of-its-kind in California, which will benefit our community by providing our residents with the right level of medical care while easing the burden on our emergency first responders,” said El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells in a Jan. 17 press release.

Kevin Mercer, AMR regional director in San Diego and Imperial Counties said this program is taking El Cajon to the next level of emergency response.

“El Cajon Community Care will enable us to best serve those needing medical care regardless of their condition,” he stated.

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