Madison: CARES to Offer Weekend Service Starting Saturday
Wisconsin Eagle/10245021

~ The Madison Fire Department has announced the expansion of the Madison Community Alternative Response Emergency Services (CARES) program to include weekend service. Starting Saturday, September 16, Madison CARES will be available to respond to non-violent behavioral health emergencies on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway expressed her enthusiasm for the expansion of the program, saying "I am happy that the program will now better serve patients by expanding into weekend hours."

Madison CARES teams are composed of a Madison Fire Department Community Paramedic and a Journey Mental Health Crisis Worker who are dispatched through the Dane County Public Safety 911 Communications Center. The goal of these teams is to provide patient-centered care to people experiencing behavioral health emergencies and connect them with the resources they need.

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The program was launched two years ago as a pilot program serving downtown Madison on weekdays, but since then it has expanded its service to weeknight hours with citywide service, responding from Fire Station 3 on Williamson Street and the old Town of Madison Fire Station on Fish Hatchery Road.

Assistant Chief of EMS Operations at the Madison Fire Department Ché Stedman commented that "CARES is rapidly becoming a vital City service that continues to draw from other national models to provide the best mental health care possible for our residents" since its inception in 2021, responding to over 3,200 calls for service.

Data collected by Public Health Madison-Dane County and Dane County Public Safety 911 Communications was used to identify weekend service as an area of need in this latest expansion of Madison CARES. During weekend hours, CARES will respond from the old Town of Madison Fire Station on Fish Hatchery Road.

Filed Under: Government, City

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