LAFD Creates New SOBER Unit
Some interesting statistics were released from the Los Angeles Fire Department last month. Apparently, people with chronic drug and alcohol problems accounted for more than 2,000 911 calls last year. That is far higher than any other category and led to several issues from first responders. For one thing, paramedic crews weren’t always equipped to address the needs of the addicted patients. So to combat this (and make experiences more efficient) a new 911 SOBER Unit is being put in place.
The purpose of the SOBER Unit will be to send social workers and addiction specialists to alcohol and drug-related 911 calls. People who the LAFD claim are better trained to handle these types of situations. As LAFD medical director Dr. Marc Eckstein told KABC,
“Instead of taking them to county hospital, sometimes twice in one day, community outreach workers work with the individual to get them to voluntarily go to the sobering center. And the plan is to try to get them into detox and traditional housing.”
In reality, the new LAFD SOBER Unit will serve two purposes. For one thing, it will help to address the specific needs of addicted 911 callers. More important for the city however, SOBER Units will bring costs way down for taxpayers; with a 12-month budget of about $165,000.
The plan certainly sounds interesting to us. And if all goes according to plan, SOBER Units will be formally in place by mid-September.