For many people on the city's East side, 911 is their healthcare insurance.
Wards 7 and 8 in D.C. are an underserved portion of the city in terms of healthcare resources. Engine Company #10 has given themselves the nickname "Vortex of Sickness" and the "House of Pain" because of the number of medical calls they receive. Located in the Trinidad section of D.C., Engine Company #10 is the busiest fire company in the entire city as well as the entire country. It is fire fighters like those in the House of Pain that fire station health centers seek to assist in sharing the burden of medical calls.
In order to serve the underserved, fire station centers go through an extensive site selection process.
Hayward, CA, one of the pioneers of fire station health centers, created the standard for fire selection. The county intends to build 5 fire station health centers. First, city administrators analyzed the number of uninsured in relation to the location of fire stations. Below, areas in dark teal are sectors where a high concentration of the uninsured lived. In D.C., it appears that Engine Company #10 is located in an area that has a similar concentration of uninsured individuals.
Second, city administrators analyzed how an FSHC would fit into already existing health infrastructure. They identified the locations of local hospitals, school based health centers, and other medical providers, such as, privately owned urgent care centers.
Finally, city administrators analyzed which parts of the city had the highest concentration of avoidable emergency department visits.
Fire station health centers work best when they are placed in areas where these three trends align. Thus, fire station health centers serve as a filter for hospitals and divert less serious health issues away from ERs. Click here to see how we'll reinvent the fire department for the 21st century.