Crawfordsville Fire Department’s Community Paramedicine Program is a practical solution to fixing health issues where they occur, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana) said Friday.
Braun heard a presentation about the program during a visit to Crawfordsville, where he met with community paramedics, elected officials and nonprofit backers at Fusion 54.
“It’s self-directed, not some idea from D.C. that’s going to come with a lot of red tape associated with it,” he said. “And I’m going to work on the framework. The proof’s in the pudding.”
Braun’s visit was the latest opportunity for the department to bring wider awareness to the program, which launched in 2017 to deliver on-site care to Montgomery County residents in collaboration with health agencies and educational partners.
It has the potential of saving at least $200 million in healthcare costs, said Paul Miller, Division Chief of EMS.
“And it can actually have a much broader reach when we’re looking at national numbers,” said Paul Miller, Division Chief of EMS.
The program was recently awarded $10,000 from the federal government to help launch low-cost vaccination and physician-referral clinics in local schools as soon as this fall. The clinics would expand CFD’s existing efforts to increase the number of vaccinated children.
The funding came from the Health Resources and Services Administration, which recognized the school immunization effort as part of its Promoting Pediatric Primary Prevention Challenge.
CFD was the only fire department to be selected among 50 hospitals and academic institutions. The winners move on to the next phase of the challenge to compete for a $25,000 cash prize.
The department is also partnering with three Indiana health systems — Parkview Health in Fort Wayne, Good Samaritan in Vincennes and Margaret Mary Health in Batesville — to expand the first of its kind Project Swaddle initiative of prenatal and postpartum care for at-risk women and their babies.
Project Swaddle has served more than 200 women and babies.