While calling 911 during an emergency can be a lifesaver for people who need immediate help or medical attention, many police and fire departments struggle with the overuse of the phone number.
Many people, especially elderly citizens, who call 911 do not have an actual emergency. Tucson firefighters were receiving calls from people who wanted help picking up medication or transportation to the hospital for appointments.
The Tucson Fire Department, noticing this problem and wanting to ensure that those with an actual emergency get the service they need, started a new program called Tucson Collaborative Community Care, also known as TC3.
For almost a year, TC3 workers have been connecting “frequent non-emergency callers” with specific services, whether it be better housing or transportation. In the process, they have saved thousands of dollars, and nearly 200 Tucsonans have been helped by the program.
For more information on the program and how to lend a hand and support community partners, please visit the Tucson Fire Department Facebook page.