What is Community Paramedic?
It’s a simple concept: Connect underutilized resources to underserved populations. In this case, we’re expanding the roles of EMS workers to provide health services where access to physicians, clinics and/or hospitals is difficult or may not exist. The Community Paramedic Program is organic. It exists for the sole purpose of serving the needs of a particular community. Its success relies heavily on collaboration among local stakeholders:
- The people who live or travel in medically underserved rural and remote locales;
- Elected officials whose charge it is to maintain the physical and fiscal health of a community;
- Health department officials, clinic and hospital administrators, who assess needs and manage resources in order to provide the range of services to meet those needs.
- Colleges and universities that train our nation’s first responders are core to the Community Paramedic Program.
Once a month, Eagle County Paramedics travels both to the Minturn and Eagle Healthy Aging sites for the senior luncheons. Paramedics and EMTs speak individually to older adults about their general health and evaluate blood pressure and blood sugar levels and monitor cardiac rhythm and oxygen levels. Through this program, we are able to help educate them about their general health and promote overall wellness. This interaction also allows older adults to become familiar with our services in a non-emergent situation.
Similar initiatives in the United States and around the world have generated remarkable results. Today’s Community Paramedic Program combines all of the best practices and lessons learned from these programs.
All ECPS community paramedics are board certified by the International Board of Specialty Certifications (IBSC) and are endorsed by the State of Colorado as Community Paramedics. The Colorado standards for Community Paramedic license endorsement exceeds national standards.