heartbeat of cabarrus tour
I appreciated the opportunity to meet with Jimmy Lentz and his staff, who provide local emergency services for Cabarrus County. I wanted to learn more about our community paramedic model, as strengthening this model is what many law enforcement officials told me would aid in our county's ability to address some of the crises in our community. Our county is fortunate to have "Community Paramedic" because this service isn't available everywhere. This program has several funding sources but includes wrap around services in the event of a crisis. I discussed a number of important issues with first responders, including issues of funding, community engagement, and the lack of resources, such as hospital beds for behavioral health crises.
After speaking with local first responders I have learned:
The local health alliance is a resource, and we need to continue supporting the work they do in the community.
First responders are having staffing and retention issues similar to other agencies across the state.
Coming out of the pandemic, there is a concern that workers will develop "compassion fatigue.”
There is an issue of hospital readmission that needs to be addressed, lest we continue to lose vital funds.