Shoreline Fire: what happens when the call is not a fire or medical emergency?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Shoreline Firefighters receive hundreds of 9-1-1 calls per year that are not medical or fire emergencies. These calls come from vulnerable elderly, people coping with substance abuse, people dealing with chronic mental illness and high risk individuals who have no medical insurance or connections to social services. 

These calls are extremely challenging for Fire and EMS crews, who are trained to handle life-threatening emergencies, and who are responding to dozens of 9-1-1 calls per day. First responders are forced to walk away from people who require extensive social service interventions. Those people are highly likely to become repeat, chronic 9-1-1 callers. Fire departments like Shoreline are creating community-focused programs to try and connect residents/families with help and resources. 

Shoreline Fire has a Community Services Officer who takes referrals from firefighters and the community and begins the sometimes lengthy process of helping these vulnerable folks get connected with social services. You can contact the CSO at 206-533-6564. 


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