LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – The west metro area will soon have a new type of ambulance that treats patients at their homes and offices.
West Metro Fire Rescue officials hope the addition of the new ARM car will keep emergency rooms from filling up. The acronym is short for Advanced Resource Medic.
Emergency rooms and urgent care centers have their place in emergency medicine, but for the thousands of medical 911 calls each year that are not critical, the ARM car will serve as another option.
What looks like an ordinary ambulance will take urgent care to the next level by bringing medicine to people’s doorsteps.
“That’s a no-brainer,” commented Mark Ward, an American Legion member and Lakewood resident. Ward is one of about 150,000 residents served by West Metro Fire Rescue.
“There’s a lot of things that we can do for you at home without making you go through all of those costs associated with advanced life support, ambulance ride and emergency room visit,” said Capt. Travis Hopwood.
Staffed by an advanced paramedic and a registered nurse or physician’s assistant, the ARM car allows for stitching up a wound, running blood work, or even prescribing medication that someone has run out of, to name a few examples.
Officials expected the service to stay especially busy helping the area’s retirement communities.
Private and state health insurance will cover ARM treatment like an urgent care visit, cutting cost for individuals and taxpayers, Hopwood said.
He said the field care would also help to keep life-saving crews free for emergencies.
“Our other resources will be back on the street,” Hopwood added.
West Metro Fire Rescue ran a pilot program in November of 2017 with assistance from South Metro Fire Rescue, which pioneered a similar system already in place. West Metro Fire’s new program begins May 21.