911 "Super Users": When to Call for Help?

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Now to a story you asked us about on our Facebook page. The Rockford Fire Department handles dozens of calls everyday, so how do you know when you should and should not call 911.

Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten says a good rule of thumb is to call when there's a fire, a crime in progress, or a medical emergency.

So called "Super Users" people who call 911 and are transported to the hospital more than 10 times a year can clog up the system with medical calls for stomach pain or a tooth ache.

Last year, the department dealt with about a dozen "Super Users". So in 2013 the department has come up with a new strategy to help these people.

"We're coordinating with SwedishAmerican Hospital to focus on how we track those and coordinate with all the resources to help that individual. How we can get them help, whether they need clothing or counseling. So all the people that are interested in making that individual better are working to get there and sharing that information," Bergsten said.

Bergsten says last year a few "Super Users" were taken to the hospital upwards of sixty times for minor medical ailments.

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