DANVILLE - Hendricks County EMS officials estimate 50 percent of all EMS calls to 911 in the county are for non-emergency needs, which may divert dispatcher’s attention from more urgent demands. In response, Danville-based Hendricks Regional Health and local EMS agencies have announced the launch of the Hendricks Regional Health Community Paramedicine Program.

“Our crews are always ready to respond to 911 calls, but in many cases, units arrive on-scene to find patients aren’t actually experiencing an emergency,” explained Plainfield Fire Chief Joel Thacker.

Instead of dispatching emergency responders, HRH says specially trained paramedics and licensed social workers will provide care to patients in their homes, reducing the reliance on 911 for non-emergent concerns.

“Through this innovative community paramedicine program, EMS agencies will be able to conserve resources for true emergencies,” said Thacker.

Hendricks County officials estimate $1.2 million a year are spent on care and services delivered by EMS and emergency departments that did not require an emergency-level response. Thacker and HRH President and CEO Kevin Speer saw an opportunity.

“The Community Paramedicine Program marks a new chapter in how we collectively deliver health care and support the needs of our community,” said Speer.

HRH says the program also aims to provide patients with the information and available resources they need to manage their health. The health system says Hendricks County 911 operators and fire departments will refer non-emergency calls to the paramedicine program.

“This is what our community needs; hands-on support to not only fix medical issues in the moment but solve them long term.” said Dr. Dustin Holland, medical director of Community Paramedicine.

Hendricks Regional Health has pledged a five-year endowment of more than $2.5 million toward the paramedicine program.