Big boost for West Hawaii paramedicine program

  • Hilo resident Milton McNicholl shakes hands with a Hawaii Fire Department medical specialist during a July 2017 visit that was part of the department’s Community Paramedicine Pilot Program. The program seeks to connect people with community services to decrease the need for 911 calls.

  • Community Paramedicine Pilot Program medical specialists try to talk with patients about frequent ER use in summer 2017. (File photos/Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

  • Community Paramedicine Pilot Program medical specialists attempt to contact a frequent 911 caller in summer 2017. (File photo/Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

HILO — A program aimed at keeping frequent 911 callers in their homes and out of the emergency room received a shot in the arm Wednesday, with a $125,000 grant from the West Hawaii Community Health Center to the Hawaii Fire Department.