Fire CARES

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In recent years, a number of fire agencies throughout the country have established community outreach and assistance programs often known by the acronym CARES (Citizen Advocates for Referral and Education Services). This internal referral service, utilized by the Bellevue Fire and Police departments, is a truly innovative way to reach residents in our community outside of the 911 emergency system.

Bellevue firefighters and police officers frequently respond to incidents where additional needs are identified that are outside their scope of responsibilities; for example, a frequent fall patient who would benefit from grab bars, a homeless person needing a gateway to housing, or an elderly woman overwhelmed by caring for her ailing husband at home.

In cases like these, firefighters or police can notify the Fire CARES team for intervention. CARES advocates meet with residents in their homes, identify their needs and connect them to community resources that will better meet those needs than a call to 911.
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