LAFD Nurse Practitioner Pilot Program Launched
Posted by Councilmember Englander on December 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM
This week, I was proud to join Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chief Ralph Terrazas, and Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Bob Blumenfield to unveil the new Nurse Practitioner Unit for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) as part of a year-long pilot program.
The new Nurse Practitioner Response Unit (NPRU) pilot program, initiated by my February motion, will be used as an alternative Emergency Medical Services response model for Los Angeles. Non-urgent, low level 911 call requests can be screened by LAFD Firefighter EMTs and rerouted to nurse practitioners within the LAFD organization. In their scope of practice, nurse practitioners can perform comprehensive on-site assessments and perform, treat and release, or treat and transfer. By implementing a nurse practitioner program into LAFD's EMS protocols, it will be possible to reduce unnecessary and expensive emergency transport. A similar program in Mesa, Arizona, the Physician Extender Program, has shown that employing nurse practitioners provides quality care and saves millions.
With nearly 350,000 EMS calls coming into LAFD each year and the number of emergency room beds failing to keep pace, this Nurse Practitioner pilot program will provide service for those who need on-site treatment and assessment. This is the first critical step to an efficient coordinated response to address both superusers and individuals with minor health care needs.
I want to thank Councilmember Paul Krekorian, who coauthored the motion, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles City and the Fire Department, for their partnership in making this program a reality.
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