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Lexington city council committee gets update on community paramedicine program

In August, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr took part in a ceremony to celebrate two new federally-funded vans for the City of Lexington's community paramedicine program.
Amy Wallot/LFUCG/LFUCG
In August, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr took part in a ceremony to celebrate two new federally-funded vans for the City of Lexington's community paramedicine program.

A Lexington City Council committee got an update Tuesday on the city’s community paramedicine program, which works to prevent overdoses and steer people to assistance. Captain Seth Lockard with the Division of Fire and Emergency Services told the Social Services and Public Safety Committee the unit consists of three firefighters, two social workers and one police officer.

“And we also work with our community members and social service agencies. In fact, we are quite involved with the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention. Jeff Heron actually hosts a meeting in our office every other Tuesday in this space. So we're very involved with that.”

Lockard said the paramedicine unit also works with Lexington’s three hospital systems to find the best solution for each at-risk person. He said they plan to hire a peer support specialist in the coming months. In response to a question from Councilmember Whitney Baxter, Lockard explained the role of that civilian in the program.

“One of our barriers is that I'm still in uniform, I'm still a firefighter and our police officers, they're still a police officer. And being able to have somebody that truly can relate, we think is going to make a big difference in some of those connections.”

Lockard said the peer support specialist will be able to follow up with at-risk people several times and tell them, “I’ve walked through those doors.”

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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