by Wyatt Miller
This Saturday, July 21, marks the first of many health and wellness initiatives offered by the Colorado Springs Fire Department. Every third Saturday of the month, from 10 a.m. to noon, CSFD firefighters, EMTs and paramedics will team up with local "safety net" organizations to offer free blood pressure and blood sugar checks at four local supermarkets.
As explained in a press release, the free screenings will be offered at the following locations:
Community and Public Health Administrator Jeff Martin says that one goal of the initiative is to help people get access to the right care for health and wellness problems. "Almost 80 percent of our calls are medical calls," Martin tells the Indy. "A lot of those calls are low-acuity... that really don't warrant a 911 response, but because people don't always have access to primary care, that's one of their only avenues."
The initiative aims to connect folks with organizations that will help them access primary care, and also includes on-site dietitians to recommend affordable dietary solutions, thereby nipping some chronic health issues in the bud. "We're trying to take a proactive approach to getting more people in our community connected to primary care," says Martin. "The truth of the matter is that if you're cycling in and out of the emergency room, you're not going to get the best care."
Partner organizations include Mission Medical, SET Family Medical Clinics, Open Bible Medical Clinic, Peak Vista Community Clinics and the Dream Center. Fire trucks will be stationed at the events — but will remain on-call, says Martin.
SET Family Medial Clinics also will be partnering with the CSFD for another series of free screenings, which will be offered at the CSFD Fire Station #8 (3737 Airport Road), every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning Aug. 7.