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Lawmakers moving forward a bill to create community paramedic program pilot project

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State lawmakers are moving forward a bill to create a pilot project for a Community Paramedic Program.

Senator Jill Tokuda say EMS systems across the state are tapped out and in need of help.

Tokuda says lawmakers are stepping in to ease the burden on ambulances.

She says frequent non-emergency calls to 911 can contribute to slower response times.

The pilot project would establish programs on both Oahu and one neighbor Island.

Community Paramedics would respond to non-urgent calls.

"That's the bottom line, is the health and safety of our people and when you take a look at programs like community paramedics, it's really making sure that all the resources that we deploy to health and safety of our communities we can do better and this is making sure that everyone can get their needs made in different ways so it's a very unique approach," Tokuda said.

The bill also provides money to train prospective community paramedics through the University of Hawaii.

The measure awaits a third reading.
 

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