Fri Sep 19 20:56:55 PDT 2014
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New Program at Dothan City Jail Saves Resources, Time and Tax Dollars
Allison Mechanic

When seconds count, you don’t want to wait longer than you have to for care, but if first responders are preoccupied with an inmate transfer, it’s residents who are put at risk. “It minimizes the number of officers we have to send out to transport the inmates, to the hospital stay with them while they are being treated, and then bring back,” explained Captain Todd David of the Dothan Police Department. “Every time that occurs you're taking an officer off the street that could respond to other citizens calls for service.” The Dothan Police Department isn’t the only organization affected. “Anytime there is a medical call at the jail the fire department has to roll so you have the expense of running a big fire truck out there with 4 to 6 fire medics or fire fighters on board it takes them kind of out of the picture for a call for service,” says David. The Dothan Police Department and Dothan Fire Department are changing that with their new program. “We were able to assign a paramedic and one of our members who is a paramedic and a registered nurse that are assigned to the municipal jail to provide coverage during the majority of the hours and to assist those inmates in making sure that they have the highest level of care that they can,” explained Battalion Chief Chris Etheredge of the Dothan Fire Department. The benefits don't stop behind bars, taxpayers will also see some relief because less transfers and hospital checkups, means fewer medical bills picked up by the city. “It’s our duty and the fire department and the police department certainly recognize that we have to be good stewards of tax payers’ dollars so if there is something that we can help we try to do that,” David said. “Our concern is to deliver the highest level of care in the facility within the jail and we think that we are doing that with this program,” explained Etheredge.”It's a tremendous partnership we couldn't do it without the police department being partners with us and its going to continue to grow as we move forward.”

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