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
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.
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.
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
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.