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The East Jefferson Fire Rescue Community Assistance Referral Education Services (CARES) team connects clients to appropriate services as follow-up to emergency response



Program description

The East Jefferson Fire Rescue Community Assistance Referral Education Services (CARES) team works to reduce the impact of low acuity/non-emergency incidents to the

9-1-1 system and identifies solutions for clients by connecting them to appropriate services. The CARES team refers community members to the most appropriate local services including:


• Local R.E.A.L. team

• Local community-based organizations


Read more in our Connecting Community Members to Care report.


Populations of emphasis 

  • Elders over 65

  • Veterans

  • Unhoused individuals/families

  • People with unmet behavioral health needs, including substance use disorder


How it works

  • Referrals received from 9-1-1 providers and other local partners. 

  • EMS assesses individual needs (emergent or not) and refers appropriate cases to CARES. 

  • Cases prioritized by referral urgency. 

  • CARES responds to referrals (in-person and/or phone), completes assessment, and develops tailored care plans to meet individual needs. 

  • Limited flexible funding is available to meet immediate needs such as food, clothing, prescriptions, etc. 

  • CARES team provides follow-up as needed to ensure connections to appropriate resources is made.   


Data

  • 217 new contacts

  • 85% of elder contacts ended with successful connections to senior services

  • 89% of veteran contacts ended with successful connections to veteran and military services

Source: EJFR Fire CARES, Jan 17-April 30, 2023


Tips for success

  • Stay flexible and nimble to best meet the community needs. The program will evolve.

  • Mix and match approaches to find what works for your community. Look at other programs for lessons learned and ideas.


Funding

Braided funding of multiple sources.  

  • Association of WA Cities (Port Townsend holds grant) 

  • Jefferson County 1/10th  

  • Jefferson Behavioral Health Consortium  

  • EJFR supports partial operational costs 


Contact




Connecting Community Members to Care Report

OCH is honored to share the success of the the East Jefferson Fire Rescue Community Assistance Referral Education Services (CARES) team. We are inspired by their continuing commitment to timely, compassionate care that meets individual client needs. Read more about this and other successes in our new Connecting Community Members to Care report.


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