City Launches New Team to Address Emergency Needs of Homeless

The City of San Francisco launched a new medical response team for the homeless today.

The Homeless Emergency Assessment & Response Team will respond to 911 calls from people who use the 911 system for non-emergency medical, psychological and social needs, according to the mayor’s office.

The team will consist of two people – a fire department paramedic captain and a person from the health department’s Homeless Outreach Team.

The team is situated at Fire Station 49 at 1415 Evans St.

The team will operate each day from noon to midnight when most of the 911 calls from the homeless come in.

The annual budget for the team, which includes money for personnel and equipment, is $765,000, according to the mayor’s office.

City officials said first responders such as police, fire and paramedics are available for everyone, but some people suffer from chronic medical, social and psychological conditions.

Some of these conditions might not be an emergency for some, but for people living on the margin of society the 911 system may be the only way to get medical care.

The team will assess each person in the field and with the help of social workers, nurses and doctors, the team will create a plan to address each person’s immediate and longer term needs to prevent future emergencies.

Keith Burbank, Bay City News

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