top of page

Central Kitsap Fire Rescue CARES connects individuals to resources that meet their specific needs

Program description

Central Kitsap Fire CARES (Community Assistance, Referral, and Education Service) is a partnership between Central Kitsap Fire and the City of Poulsbo that connects people with support and services that meet their individual needs. This program addresses the underlying issues contributing to non-emergent 9-1-1 calls and ED visits by providing education and making referrals to local services. Central Kitsap Fire CARES closely collaborates with and refers to community partners such as:

  • Kitsap Mental Health Services

  • Knights of Columbus

  • Fishline

  • Kitsap Division of Aging and Long-Term Care

  • St. Michael Medical Center

  • Local substance use disorder providers

  • Local school districts

Read more in Olympic Community of Health's Connecting Community Members to Care report.

Populations of emphasis 

Everyone in the fire district is served by this program.

How it works

  1. 9-1-1 call triage identifies cases appropriate to refer to Fire CARES 

  2. Referrals are received through Julota 

  3. Phone call or in-person visit by CARES team paramedic and social worker 

  4. CARES team refers individuals to appropriate community resources 

  5. Discharge from program after individual needs are met 


  • 289 referrals received and 186 people assisted January-June 2023

  • 27 individuals connected to care January-June 2023

  • 19 avoided 9-1-1 calls because of on-scene activity/home visit and 20 times fire crews relieved in the field January-July 2023

Source: City of Poulsbo

Tips for success

  1. Utilize a common data system for referral and data collection.

  2. You can mix and match approaches that will work best for your community. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. There are many other programs to learn from.


Braided funding from multiple sources including:

  • Kitsap County 1/10th

  • WA Association of Cities Grant administered through the City of Poulsbo

  • Central Kitsap Fire Department operational support including vehicles, office space, employee time/benefits, administrative support


Connecting Community Members to Care Report

OCH is honored to share the success of Central Kitsap Fire Rescue CARES and is inspired by their continuing commitment to timely, compassionate care that meets individual needs. Read more about this and other successes in OCH's Connecting Community Members to Care report.

51 views0 comments


bottom of page