Reposted Louisville Metro EMS helping thousands of people with 911 nurse triage

WDRB 41 Louisville News

Source: WDRB.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Some Louisville residents calling 911 for help are getting a different kind of service.

Five years ago, Louisville Metro EMS started an Emergency Communication Nurse System, nicknamed the 911 nurse triage.

Two nurses work at the MetroSafe 911 call center among all the dispatchers and call takers.

“I've been called an angel several times. I do enjoy it,” said Misty Aviles, a 911 triage nurse.

The nurses step in when people have non-emergency medical issues.

“I will call the doctor's office for them or call the pharmacies for them and make sure that they're getting taken care of and going where they need to go,” said Aviles.

Last week, Demus Galloway was the caller on the line.

“I had sprained my tendon in my left leg and I had called 911 to try to get to the hospital,” said Galloway.

Galloway was transferred to a nurse who was able to help, without calling an ambulance.

“They was able to provide a cab for me and set up an appointment for me to go to the Portland Health Clinic to see about my leg that has a messed up tendon,” said Galloway.

Kristen Miller, Chief of Staff with Louisville Metro EMS, says they launched the program in 2010 to help patients that don't necessarily need an ambulance or to be taken to a hospital.

It also helps to keep the ambulances on the road for emergencies.

“For a period of time we were the only city in the U.S. that was using this system and I think a lot of other communities were waiting to see how it would work out here because now it's spread like wildfire,” said Kristen Miller with Louisville Metro EMS.

Only four other agencies in the U.S. have this program, with six more currently in the process of getting it.

Some have been getting feedback from Louisville Metro EMS.

Officials say it has not only put the city in the national spotlight, but it's been a major benefit to patients.

“It feels good to be able to help them and have them call us and say thank you for this and thank you for what you've done,” said Aviles.

April 19th marks five years since the start of this program.

In that time, EMS officials say they've helped nearly 9,000 and have two full time nurses working the phones Monday through Friday.