Tulsa Fire Department CARES
Tulsa Fire Department’s Community Assistance Referral and Educational Services (CARES) program seeks to build community relationships to connect high-need individuals with Tulsa’s social, medical, and mental health systems.
The program was developed to reduce the number of “high-utilizers” of the current Emergency Medical Services (EMS) system.
Program staff work with clients in a non-emergent context to assess what assistance is available from area agencies to meet the clients’ needs immediate and long-term medical, mental, and social needs.
With the needs fulfilled by an agency, the client no longer needs to rely on the fire department to respond to these needs.
The CARES staff periodically follows up with the client to make sure needs are being met and the use of 911 remains lowered.
Mental Health Association Oklahoma partners with CARES to embed an Association employee, the Police and Fire Clinical Coordinator, with Tulsa Fire Department Chief of EMS, Michael Baker and the CARES program.