Approved: Rockford Fire program to take mental health patients to Rosecrance

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Rockford Fire Department will soon change the way it responds 911 calls for a patient with a mental health crisis.

Alderpersons unanimously approved a pilot program at Monday’s city council meeting. The program allows Rockford Fire to take some patients with mental health needs to the Rosecrance Mulberry Center for treatment.

Under current state law, first responders are only allowed to transport behavioral and mental health care patients to an emergency room. The Rockford Fire Department becomes one of the first in the state with an exemption.

The Rockford Fire Department received more than 900 mental health calls last year.