Decatur Fire trying to cut back on non-emergency calls


DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Decatur Fire Department is trying to reduce an overwhelming number of non-emergency calls it is receiving, particularly from facilities for the elderly.

DFD has seen a steady increase in "lift assist" calls that are straining their resources over the last ten years.

Lift assist calls are typically for a person who falls and needs help getting up. Fire and ambulance respond to these calls at the same time.

The chief said there is a problem with frequent callers from nursing homes who are taking advantage of the system.

The fire department is responding to twice as many calls as they were 20 years ago.

The chief said they are considering several solutions, including ranking emergency calls by priority and asking for a city ordinance to charge commercial facilities for responses to life assist calls.

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