Wichita city council members have approved a pilot program with Sedgwick County to create a para-medicine program that will deal with non-emergency medical needs in the community.
Wichita fire chief Tammy Snow said the 90-day pilot program will establish an Integrated Care Team, or ICT. The team will have one law enforcement officer, one paramedic and one social worker. The team will be responding to calls during the peak time periods Tuesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The emergency response system for Wichita and Sedgwick County has had an increasing number of calls for non-emergency situations, and many of the calls are for people in a mental crisis. Snow said the ICT would handle those calls and free EMS crews to respond to emergency situations.
The pilot program will begin on July 30th and it will be evaluated at the end of October.
City council member Bryan Frye has worked with the effort to provide more efficient responses to medical calls. He said the pilot program should provide an appropriate response to people who are experiencing a crisis in health care, mental health, social services and other issues. He said it’s about right-sizing the care for the people who need it, and it’s hoped the program will have a significant impact.