Indiana Firefighters Helping Patients with Chronic Illness

Firefighters in one Indiana community are visiting patients coming home from the hospital.

FISHERS, IN - “My family help me put this together.”

Judy Parkes didn’t always pay this much attention to her health. A while back, she started getting out of breath easily, but didn’t think much of it – until she found herself unable to breath and in the hospital.

“I was so thankful to be alive because I know I could have slipped away very easily,” Parkes said. “But I didn’t know anything about the congestive heart failure disease.”

Diagnosed with congestive heart failure, Parkes spent several days in the hospital and then was discharged with a handful of medications and lifestyle changes needed.

“When I got ready to leave the hospital, it thought, ‘Come home with me and help me out,’” Parkes said.

Turns out, there’s a service in Fishers that does that. Fishers firefighters started helping out patients like Parkes on their days off, and the hospital reimburses them for their services.

“The more that we get involved with this and be proactive, the less we hopefully have to do with 9-1-1 calls.”

The EMTs will check a patient’s blood pressure and other vitals, give them guidelines to how they should live their life and even provide tips on what they can and can’t eat.

“Improves the health of the community and hopefully reduces the costs of healthcare within the community as well. Not only for our citizens, but also for the hospitals not having patients readmitted.”

Parkes has not been back at the hospital since her first scare, and she says she doesn’t plan on it with the help of the Fishers Fire Department.

“I have an awesome six grandchildren, and I want to be with them. I didn’t want to leave them without a grandmother.”

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