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Good Morning Assistance Program

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 6:24 PM EDT
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FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine (WAGM) -

A new program launched by the Fort Fairfield Fire Department is hoping to help older people in the community, and reduce the number of emergency calls they receive. Brian Bouchard has the story.

“So one day I was working here and we had 3 or 4 calls for lift assists and they were all within 2 hours of each other. And within those two hours our only covered ambulance for that town was going to 3 or 4 lift assists and that tied up the ambulance so we were unable to respond to other emergencies”

Shelby Barnes, a Firefighter/EMT with the Fort Fairfield Fire Department says after that day, the idea came to her for the Good Morning Assistance Program, to help prevent some of these calls. Through the Program, The Fort Fairfield Fire Department is offering to conduct daily check ins with people who enroll.

“Every morning at 8 AM there is a list of people. A call will be made to these people, just checking in seeing how they are doing, seeing if there’s anything we can do for them, and if they need anything we can go out to their address and assist them. It makes it so our ambulance isn’t tied up.”

Barnes says that if those in the program don’t answer the phone call, then a welfare check will be made to ensure everything is alright. Deputy Fire Chief Cody Fenderson says the whole idea of the program is to try and better serve the older population of Fort Fairfield while also sending the right people, to the right calls.

“Calling 911 might necessarily not be what they need, and they know that they don’t really need an emergency response, they just need help getting out of their chair or they slid down on to the floor and they need help getting up, they’re not injured, they don’t need an ambulance. While we can’t always provide that in every facet of their daily lives we can make sure that they don’t get to a point where they need an ambulance or they don’t end up sitting on the floor for hours at a time and then they do need an ambulance.”

Fenderson says though the program is geared towards older people, anyone can call and sign up.

“If you have neighbors, if you have friends, if you have family that might benefit from this, you can call and get us the information and we could even go and speak with them if you’re not comfortable talking about it with them. And again, it’s as simple as just a call everyday just to make sure their okay.”

To sign up for the program or for more information you can contact the Fort Fairfield Fire Department at 472-3809

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