October 16, 2017

** Chicago offering incentives for paramedics, public safety workers to buy homes and settle in high crime neighborhoods

** Texas fire department ambulance service first in nation to carry antibiotics for sepsis patients

UNITED STATES NEWS

** Chicago’s mayor is trying to revitalize crime ridden neighborhoods in the city by providing incentives for paramedics and other public safety workers to move in. That is the word from CBS Local (Craig Dellimore/June 14) which said the city’s Housing Committee has agreed to give interested emergency providers $30,000 loans to purchase homes in the dilapidated sectors. According to the news site, the city would then forgive the loans if emergency services personnel stay in the homes for ten years. Although several politicians are supporting the program in principle, several others said they are worried participants will game the system. Alderman David Moore (17th precinct) said he is concerned the plan will backfire if emergency responders choose to live in only the best neighborhoods in high crime zones. So far, the city has kicked in $3 million for the initiative. The money means about 100 public safety officers could participate.

** Texas medics working for the North Richland Hills Fire Department are carrying antibiotics on-board ambulances to combat sepsis in patients. CBS News (June 13) said the department is the first in the country to do so. According to the news site, the impetus for the initiative came from a firefighter who was battling leukemia. Fire department medical director Dr. Roy Yamada said attending medics did not recognize the man’s condition during a hospital transport. Though the firefighter recovered, he began to campaign to prevent EMS patients from deteriorating the way he did. Medical City North Hills nurse Dorie Murray said for every hour without antibiotics sepsis patients face a 7.6 per cent hike in their chance of dying. As a result of the program, mortality rates from sepsis at Medical City North Hills have now dropped from 50 per cent to under 20 per cent.

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