Honolulu drops program for chronic 911 callers

HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu has dropped a program intended to curb chronic 911 callers and the overuse of ambulance services.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that a community paramedic team was created in November after research revealed that the top 10 callers to 911 had taken an average of 52 ambulance rides per year. The plan was for two community paramedics to visit the top 50 callers with the goal of trying to determine the underlying causes of their problems and steer them to more appropriate care.

The program was suspended in early January under the new mayor. Emergency Services Department Director Mark Rigg says it was outside the agency's area of expertise and took up valuable resources.

The Star-Advertiser says the state has expressed interest in starting its own program.

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