At a North Central District meeting conducted by Fishers City Councilor Eric Moeller, residents heard from Fishers Fire Dept. Capt. John Mehling, who provided an update on new FFD initaitives and safety tips.
Mehling informed residents about the department’s new position, EMS duty officer, which is a 24-hour role in which a vehicle and its personnel respond to mental health incidents.
“We are not only responding to that emergency but building relationships,” Mehling said. “Mental health is a big thing, trying to address that as well. For example, we had a lady that was doing great and then all of a sudden kept having episode after episode after episode. Police officers are coming, and since we have this relationship with a lot of these patients, we can step in and deescalate a situation because of having rapport with them. We are in a unique position where we can do that sometimes and police officers can’t. We are working hand-in-hand with police officers to develop that so we don’t have those situations.
“What we ended up finding out was she wasn’t taking her medicine because she lost her driver’s license, which means she couldn’t go to get the medicine. By working with other agencies, she got her driver’s license back, got some financial assistance and got back on the medicine, and we haven’t been back since.”
Mehling also mentioned a similar FFD initiative called the Community Paramedicine Program. If a patient is released from the hospital and sent home with dressings and medications and isn’t sure how to correctly use the items, FFD staff can visit the home and assist the patient.
“Those are just a couple of things we are doing overall as a department,” Mehling said. “From an educational side, we are teaching every opportunity we get. We are in schools five days a week. We want to make sure what we are teaching is vital information you can carry on with you through life.”
Mehling also discussed the water safety program the department conducts in the summer months.
“Our goal this summer was to have a drowning-free summer. We failed. We had an older male who drowned out at Geist, but the positive to that is no kids drowned over the summer,” Mehling said. “We go out to apartment complexes, neighborhood pools and teach water safety in a quick, 20-minute program.”