Great Falls Emergency Services responding to more non-emergency calls

Posted at 2:41 PM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 18:17:43-04

GREAT FALLS – Emergency service organizations nationwide are seeing an increase in non-emergency calls and Great Falls Emergency Services is no exception.

General Manager Justin Grohs said they have always had non-emergency calls.

“We want a paramedic and ambulance on any call that is necessary. But like most small cities around the United States, we do not have unlimited resources here in the city of Great Falls and Cascade County,” Grohs said.

Grohs said they need to be careful about how they use the resources they have.

Some of the non-emergency calls GFES have been dispatched too include people with superficial wounds or people wanting to be taken to the emergency department for a sandwich.

Grohs said a solution will require a partnership with all emergency services working together.

“There is a number of possibilities out there including putting another tier into our dispatch system in which calls are treated a little more aggressively. There are probably some calls into 911 where that patient can be patched or lined up with a social worker or another kind of medical professional,” Grohs said.

Grohs want the public to still call 911 even if they are unsure if it is an emergency.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News