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SR paramedics, firefighters to respond to some mental health calls instead of police

Original post made on May 16, 2021

The city of San Ramon is playing host to a new pilot program for how first responders treat mental health crises, that includes training firefighters and emergency paramedics to respond to mental health emergencies, instead of police.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 5:27 PM

Comments (2)

Posted by Malcolm Hex
a resident of San Ramon
on May 16, 2021 at 11:37 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

So, firefighters are also going to be mental health professionals now? Paramedics too? Are they going to be trained to use lethal force should a mental health crisis escalate to violence? Are fire fighters and paramedics going to be trained in arrest and control techniques? Wow, talk about putting a strain on our resources!

Not all mental health emergencies often turn violent; however, take a look at two examples where firefighters and paramedics would have been out of their league.

Walnut Creek 2019:

When Miles Hall's hallucinations and erratic behavior returned, his mother did what she had always done: She gave police a heads up.

The next day, police responded to multiple 911 calls about Hall, who was having a mental health episode and roaming around his neighborhood. Police say Hall was holding a pry bar that a neighbor had given him for gardening -- and ran in their direction. After attempting to stop him with beanbag rounds, police fired at Hall. He died shortly after.

What if the fire department or paramedics had responded to this incident instead of the police? And remember, the police attempted to use non-lethal force before using lethal force.

Henrico County, Virginia 2019:

Police responded to a welfare check requested by Gay Ellen Plack's psychiatrist. Plack, 57, was bipolar and "doing bizarre stuff." Two officers went to Plack's home and she hid inside a bathroom in a locked bedroom. The officers breached the bedroom door and approached the bathroom and Plack came out with an axe. Within seconds, both officers fired. Plack was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Suppose a fire fighter or paramedic entered the premises instead on the police? And keep in mind, no one knew Plack had an axe until she came out of the bathroom.

Posted by I know a Little
a resident of Walnut Creek
on May 25, 2021 at 7:03 am

I know a Little is a registered user.

Wow, in Walnut Creek all they talk about is how Miles was taking his 5 foot gardening tool and going home. That house just happened to be behind the Police, but they should have let him and his tool through.

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