Mobile medic unit saves the city money

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - A paramedic program in Rapid City is designed to save lives, while also saving the city money.

A mobile medic car parked outside the Rapid City Fire Station.

The mobile medic unit cruising the streets is designed to tackling small problems, very small problems.

"We have some patients that like to call several times a year," says Capt. Chris Jolley, lead for the Rapid City Fire Department's mobile medic unit. "We had one that called up to 40 times a year and they are unnecessary calls."

Those calls can range from:

"Get me a glass of water or help me get my medicine filled or I've stubbed my toe and that's not what an ambulance is for," says Jolley.

To combat small calls, the station came up with an idea.

"So what we came up with was a single resource paramedic to go and answer these kind of calls and to get this patient pointed in the right direction at the right time," says Jolley. "So that the resources the city are used more appropriately and the patients are receiving the right care at the right time."

In the back of the mobile medic there is enough equipment to help someone that's going into cardiac arrest until the paramedics arrive and the station is also looking to add a second mobile medic.

"It costs us about 300 man hours and one in a half equipment hours and by sending a single resource we've figured we moved that down to one and a quarter man hours and a half of equipment hour. So it's saving quite a bit of money," says Jolley.

Around $200,000 to be exact.