Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Chief Ralph Terrazas on Monday joined local hospital officials and the LAFD Medical Director to launch the expansion of the successful Advanced Provider Response Unit (APRU) program.
Two and a half years after establishing the first APRU pilot program, the LAFD added three new APRUs to its fleet on July 23, offering an innovative solution that provides direct, advanced on-scene medical care to patients who may not require immediate transportation to the emergency room.
Thanks to the support and public-private funding from Cedars Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, Providence Health & Services Southern California, and the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation, the three new APRUs began serving the communities of Arleta, Hollywood and Pico-Robertson/Mid-City. Later this year, two additional APRUs will begin covering Downtown and Woodland Hills. The new units join an APRU already operating in a large area of Central and South Los Angeles.
The APRUs are staffed with an LAFD Firefighter/Paramedic and an Advanced Provider (Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant) and offer a broad range of capabilities outside of the traditional paramedic scope of practice. The APRU offer three distinct services:
- Mobile urgent care with on-scene treatment and release of low-acuity patients.
- Comprehensive assessment of 911 super-users and vulnerable patients who can be linked to follow-up non-emergency care and needed services.
- On-scene medical clearance of mental health and intoxicated patients who can be transported directly to a mental health facility or sobering center, without burdening a local emergency room.
“The APRU program represents our continuing effort to better serve the community, meet the challenges our increasing EMS call load and enhance the delivery of emergency medical services in the City of Los Angeles,” said LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas.