San Antonio, TX 78204
P.O. Box 839966
San Antonio, TX 78283
Published on Thursday, December 10, 2020
CONTACT: Joe Arrington
SAN ANTONIO (December 10, 2020) - In a continued effort to provide the highest levels of advanced medical care to the residents and visitors of San Antonio, the San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) has implemented a new telemedicine technology called the GoodSam program. The SAFD is the first agency in the nation to implement the technology.
The GoodSam program allows 911 paramedic dispatchers to connect callers that have a low acuity (non-life threatening) emergency with a clinical dispatcher who can initiate a video conference. The clinical dispatcher will then further asses the caller’s potential injuries to determine what level of care or response is appropriate. The GoodSam program uses artificial intelligence to read the heart rate of the caller and specialized dispatchers will determine whether SAFD resources are needed. Callers can utilize the program without downloading a mobile application.
“The San Antonio Fire Department is leading the United States as the first agency to implement the use of telemedicine technology to improve call response times and save our residents and taxpayers time and money. The GoodSam program is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic and will help protect our EMS teams from unintended exposures and saving personal protective equipment,” said City Manager Erik Walsh.
The SAFD piloted the program this year and within its first seven weeks, an average of nine Fire/EMS incidents were reduced per day. Today, the City Council voted to approve full implementation of the program.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this piece of technology. This program highlights our continued dedication to the people of San Antonio,” said Fire Chief Charles Hood.
The SAFD has responded to more than 207,444 incidents in 2020 alone. This program will ensure that vital SAFD resources remain available for higher acuity emergencies, as well as reducing the potential of COVID-19 exposures for personnel.
Media: video is available here.
Author: Melanie Morales (GPA)
Categories: City News, Fire