Columbus program hopes to determine which 911 calls aret emergencies


The city of Columbus is rolling out a four-to-six-week pilot program on Monday that will help determine whether 911 calls need an emergency response by police and firefighter-medics or by others, such as social workers or clinicans who are better equipped to deal with mental health or substance abuse issues.

Erika Clark Jones, president and CEO of the Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County speaks Friday during a news conference at Columbus Public Health for a new Alternative Response Pilot Program.

“For far too often and long, we’ve asked police officers to be social workers, medics,” Mayor Andrew J. Ginther said Friday during a news conference to announce what is being called the Alternative Response Pilot Program. The event was held at Columbus Public Health near Downtown.

A paramedic and Columbus Public Health clinician will be embedded in the city’s 911 call center to help triage calls and determine whether police and fire should be responding to calls or someone else, said Columbus Fire Capt. Matt Parrish.



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